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\ili'"sm " ai .s^igi 




A N I ) 


1732 to i860 


B V I 



Macon, Ga. 




Printed by 

The Franklin Printing and Publishing Co. 

Atlanta, Ga. 






« ^90 t L. 


Entered according to Act of Congress by 


I am my own publisher, not of choice, but of necessity. 
There are no publishing houses North or South that are 
willing to risk the publishing of State histories by whom- 
soever written. I have confidence in the Georgia people 
and have acted in accordance with it. The book is not as 
fully illustrated as I would have preferred. Some hand- 
some churches and court-houses would have appeared if 
the parties concerned had complied with my request for 
half-tones. Many have, and I am under obligations to 
them for the use of their plates. 

Vineville, Macon, Ga. 



I have tried to write the Story of Georgia and the Geor- 
gia People from 1732 to i860. I have rather aimed to give 
a series of pictures than a mere detail of events. I have 
freely used the labors of those who have gone before me, 
and have endeavored to put a fair estimate on their work. 

Hewitt, the dignified and careful old Loyalist, who wrote 
a History of South Carolina, which was afterward repub- 
lished by Mr. Carroll in his Historical Collections, gives an 
account of the Georgia Colony up to the Revolution. His 
story of the early Colony is very accurate. Major McCall, 
who wrote the first History of the State of Georgia, drew 
page after page from Hewitt, making no acknowledgment 
of his source of information, and all that is valuable in his 
account of the colony is found in Hewitt's History. McCall 
participated actively in the revolutionary struggle, and had 
a Scotchman's hate for all opposed to him, and his account 
of revolutionary matters is to be taken somewhat cautiously. 

Bishop Stevens,* who wrote the second History of Geor- 
gia, is very painstaking and reliable. His style is classic 
and his pages are stately, his stateliness becoming some- 
times almost ludicrous. Colonel Charles C. Jones, j- whose 
two portly octavos reach to the close of the Revolution, has 
left no stone unturned in his effort to discover everything 
which could interest the student of Georgia history. Geor- 

* Stevens's History of Georgia, Vol. I. D. Appleton & Co., New York. 
1847. Vol. II., 1859. E. H. Butler, Philadelphia. 

t History of Georgia. By Charles C.Jones, Jr., LIv.D. Boston. Hough- 
ton, Mifflin & Co. 186S. 2 vols. 

VI Preface. 

gia was in her swaddling clothes when his story reached its 
conclusion. His somewhat untimely death was a great loss 
to Georgia, and the completion of the work he had laid out 
for himself was left to other hands. 

Colonel Avery begins his history fifty years after Stevens 
ends his, and has given in a large octavo a full and graphic 
story of a stirring time.* 

Professor Lawton B. Evans has written a school history 
of Georgia, which is very full and reliable. I have used 
the first edition of it very freely, and find it to be very trust- 
worthy. A second and improved edition is now used in the 
Georgia schools. Professor Evans has added to my obliga- 
tions by putting the collection of illustrations used in his 
first edition at my disposal, •j- and his obliging publishers, 
the University Publishing Co., have done the same. 

Colonel Charles H. Smith has written an excellent sketch 
of Georgia, which has been published by a Northern firm. 
It is a mere sketch, but, like everything from the pen of the 
gifted writer, sprightly and valuable. 

I have been much indebted to Adiel Sherwood, who pub- 
lished the first Gazetteer of Georgia in 1829, and who fol- 
lowed it by a new and improved edition in 1837.;!; ^^^ 
little book published in 1829 was the first effort to show the 
progress of the young State along industrial lines. It is 
thoroughly truthful. Mr. George White, § who has done so 
much for Georgia history, has drawn largely from Mr. 
Sherwood, not always giving him proper credit. 

Mr. White's two books are invaluable, and I am very 

*The History of the State of Georgia from 1S59 to ^SSi. Brown & 
Derby, New York. 

t A Student's History of Georgia. By Lawton B. Evans. J. W. Burke 
& Co., Macon, Ga. 

i Sherwood's Gazetteer, Washington, D. C, 1S37. 

§ White's Statistics. W. T. Williams, Savannah. 1849. White's His- 
torical Collections, New York. 1856. Pudney & Russell. 


largely indebted to him. lie devoted much attention to 
Biography, and his personal sketches are excellent. 

I am under special obligations to the Georgia Historical 
Society of Savannah for the use of its rare and valuable 
collection of books and newspapers, as well as of MSS. bear- 
ing on Georgia history. And I must render publicly my 
thanks to the courteous and well-informed Colonel Harden, 
the librarian, who has given me very valuable assistance. 

My friends of the Macon bar have given me free access 
to their collections of Georgia law books, and Colonel J. R. 
Saussy and Colonel S. B. Adams of Savannah have given 
me access to some very rare and important works not to 
be found elsewhere. 

I have tried to be strictly non-partisan in my statements, 
for I can but think the bitter animosities of the Revolution 
and the fiery heat of early politics have in some degree 
prevented a fair treatment of those who were under the 
public ban. 

I have aimed to make a book of moderate size and to 
give prominence to facts to a large degree overlooked by 
other histories of Georgia, and I have been much less mi- 
nute in my account of the first years of the Georgia Colony 
than I would have been had not those who preceded me 
given it such attention. 

The aim I set forth at the beginning of this preface I 
have kept constantly before me, and have used a homeliness 
of treatment and a particularity of statement that would 
not have been warranted if I had designed to write a com- 
plete history for general circulation and reference. 

The interesting story of De Soto in Georgia, which has so 
fascinated the early historians, has been so well told by 
Pickett, Jones and Stevens, that it was not necessary that I 
should tell it again, even if I regarded it, as I do not, as a 
part of the story of the Georgia people. It is an incident 
in the history of the Spaniards which is of very great in- 

VIII Preface. 

terest, and the account given by the Spanish chronicler is 
an amusing illustration of the temptation, never resisted in 
those days, to draw largely on the fancy for facts. To find 
bushels of precious pearls, wonderful princesses and great 
cities in the Georgia forests was possible only to those 
Spanish romancers. 

A glance over the Bibliography appended will show my 
sources of information. I have in almost every instance 
referred to the original copies of the books referred to, and 
have been compelled in only one instance, that of DeBrahm's 
account of the province of Georgia, to take my facts at 
second-hand. I am indebted to Colonel C. C. Jones for the 
facts recited by this German engineer. 

I have found the work of preparing this volume a diffi- 
cult one, not because I had no sufficient supply of material, 
but because of the difficulty of bringing into a moderate 
compass so much of interest to the Georgia people. 

The good ladies of the Atlanta Chapters had prepared 
and put at my disposal, at their expense, as full a roster of 
the Georgia troops as could be secured. The well-informed 
and untiring Captain B. F. Johnson did the work, with the 
cooperation of the Secretary of State, Colonel Cook. In 
the Appendix is found the result of this labor. 

George G. Smith. 

Vi?ieville, Macon, Ga. 


1. Journal of Wm. Stephens, Esq., 3 vols., London, 1744. 
This very rare and very valuable book is to be found in 

the library of the Georgia Historical Society in Savannah. 
It has been freely drawn upon by Hewitt, McCall, Bishop 
Stevens and Colonel Jones. It is very full and very reli 
able. It covers the period between 1738 and 1741. 

2. Bartram's Journal of a Botanist. 

3. Journal of John Wesley, Wesley's works, vol. I., Eaton 
& Maines, New York. Journal of Charles Wesley, in 
Jackson's Life. Whitefield's Letters and Journal as 
found in his life by Gillies, and in his works. London, 

These books are of great service, especially the Journal 
of John Wesley, in which he gives much valuable informa- 
tion about the first days of Georgia and the Letters of White- 
field, which extend over thirty years. 

4. Hewitt's History, as found in Carroll's Collections. 

Dr. Hewitt was a Presbyterian minister of Charleston, 
and an intense Loyalist. 

5. Bancroft's History, 2 vols. 

6. Memorials of Oglethorpe, by Dr. Harris of Boston. 

This biography, the only one we have of Oglethorpe, 
is, as far as the facts go, a valuable work. As is not 
unusual with biographers, he aims to magnify the subject 
of his story unduly. 

X Bibliography. 

7. Oglethorpe's Letters. Georgia Historical Society, 
vol. 3. 

These are very valuable and cast much light on the early 
days of the colony. 

A NevT and Accurate Account of the Province of South 
Carolina and Georgia. London, 1733. 

A Voyage to Georgia, by Francis Moore, 1744. 

An Impartial Inquiry, 1741. 

Reasons for Establishing the Colony of Georgia, 1733. 

The State of the Province of Georgia, 1740. 

A Brief Account, a Tract against the Trustees, 1741. 

Tailfer's Narrative, antagonistic to Oglethorpe. Pub- 
lished in Charleston, S. C, 1741. 

The Trustee's Statement. London, 1742. 

Governor Wright's Letter. 

8. McCall's History of Georgia, 181 i. 

9. Stevens's History of Georgia, vol. i. D. Appleton & 
Co., 1847. Stevens's History of Georgia, vol. 2. E. H. 
Butler & Co., 1858. 

10. History of Georgia, by Colonel Chas. C. Jones, 2 vols., 

As far as Colonel Jones goes he has left nothing behind 
him. Fair, non-partisan, graceful in style, his two large 
volumes are invaluable. 

11. Life of James Jackson, by Judge T. U. P. Charlton, 
1809. Reprint of Thomas Meghan, 1896. A full account 
of General Jackson's army life. 

12. Pamphlets of Georgia History, by A. H. Chappell, 

This series of j)amphlets, which were published in Co- 
lumbus in 1873, and republished by Thos. Meghan in 

Bibliography. xi 

Atlanta in 1896, are very valuable and I have drawn freely 
on them. 

13. History of Savannah, by Lee & Agnew. 

14. History of Savannah, by C. C. Jones. 

15. History of Augusta, by C. C. Jones. 

16. History of Atlanta, by E. Y. Clarke. 

17. History of Macon, by J. C. Butler, have all aided me 
in making up my history of the cities. Mr. Butler's 
book is especially valuable in recovering everything 
which concerns Macon's infant history. 

18. Memoirs of Georgia, published by the Georgia His- 
torical Association. 

Two large volumes, to which contributions were made 
by Colonel Avery, Mr. J. Chandler Harris, Mr. W. P. 
Reed, Chas. N. West, Esq., General C. A. Evans, Dr. 
Foster and others, and in which there are a great many 
biographical sketches. There is much in this book which 
is very valuable. 

19. King Alcohol in the Land of King Cotton, by 
Professor Scomp. 

It is a very voluminous, accurate and carefully written 
story of the temperance reform. It is a v^^ork of great re- 
search, but is unreadably minute in its statements. 

20. History OF Georgia, 1850 to 1881. Avery. This is 
a full and sprightly account of a stormy time. 

CoLOiNiAL Laws of Georgia. Lewis Johnson, 1771. 

There are only three volumes of this collection of which 
I have knowledge, one in the Historical Society in Savan- 
nah, and two owned by J. R. Saussy, Esq., that city. 

XII Bibliography. 

The Egmont Papers, published by Mr. DeRenne, which 
shed much light on colonial history. 

Watkins's Digest of Georgia Laws to 1800. R. Aiken, 
1st Ed., Philadelphia. 

Marbury's Georgia Laws. R. Aiken, Philadelphia. 

Compilation of Georgia Laws, by Augustine S. Clayton, 
to 1 8 10. 

Compilation of Georgia Laws, by L. Q. C. Lamar, Sr., to 

Compilation of Georgia Laws, by W. C. Dawson, to 1825. 

Digest of Georgia Laws, by O. H. Prince, 1837. 

Sherwood's Gazetteer of Georgia, ist Ed., 1829. Second 
edition, Washington, D. C, 1837. 

It is difficult to speak too highly of this unpretending 
work. It casts a flood of light over the second period of 
Georgia history. 

White's Statistics. Mr. White was largely indebted to 
Sherwood, but was a laborious and patient investigator 
himself, and his Book of Statistics, somewhat inaccurately 
called such, is invaluable. His larger work. Historical 
Collections, gives a very great amount of valuable matter 
out of which a history can be made, and has been of great 
service to me. 

Georgians, by Governor Gilmer, is a rare book, full of 
reminiscences, very interesting and generally reliable. 

Bench and Bar of Georgia, a series of biographical 
sketches of distinguished lawyers, by Stephen F. Miller, is 
a very carefully prepared, trustworthy and somewhat diffuse 
-account of some of the leading lawyers of the State. It 
was published by J. B. Lippincott & Co., Philadelphia. 

Reminiscences of a Georgia Lawyer, by Judge Garnett 
Andrews, is a pamphlet which aims at showing some of the 
ludicrous things in early Georgia, but casts some light on 
the early history of the period. 


Georgia Scenes, Wm. Mitten; by Judge A. B. Long- 
street, These books are invaluable for the information they 
give of the social life of the second generation of Georgians. 

Asbury's Journal, giving an account of early Methodism. 

Bishop Stevens's Centennial Address, presenting a sketch 
of the Episcopal Church in Georgia. 

Campbell's History of the Baptists. J. W. Burke & Co., 
Macon. History of Baptists, Christian Index Pub. Co. 

Wilson's Necrology of the Presbyterian Church, Atlanta, 

Smith's History of Methodism in Georgia. J. W. Burke 
•& Co., Macon. 

Life of Edmond Bottsford. Mallary. 

Life of Jesse Mercer. Mallary. 

Life of James O. Andrew. Smith. 

Life of Geo. F. Pierce. Smith. 

Life of Robert Toombs. Stovall. 

Life of B. H. Hill. Hill. 

Life of Alex. H. Stephens. Brown & Johnson. 

Life of Linton Stephens. Waddell. 

Memorial of Howell Cobb. Boykin. 

Georgia Gazette, from 1765 till its suspension. 

The Augusta Chro?iicle, from i 796. 

The Georgia Messenger ami Telegraph, in Macon 

The Milledgeville Federal Union, from 1825. 



Georgia under the Trustees — 1732 to 1754. — Preliminan — Carolina. 
Settled — Mr. Oglethorpe Plans a Benevolent Colony — A Board of 
Trustees Organized — The King Makes a Grant of Territory West of 
the Savannah River — Proposal Made to Immigrants — Immigration of 
Thirty-five Families — Dr. Herbert First Clergyman — Immigrants Ar- 
rive at Charleston and Beaufort — Colonel Bull and Mr. Oglethorpe 
Select a Place for the Settlement of the Colony — Tomichichi and his 
People — Savannah Laid Out — Coming of the Salzburghers — Coming^ 
of the Highlanders — Second Immigration of English People, Salz- 
burghers and Moravians — Troubles with the Spaniards — Mr. Ogle- 
thorpe Commissioned a Colonel, Raises a Regiment and Commands 
the British Forces — ^The Spanish War — The War Over — Mr. Oglethorpe 
at Frederica — Trouble with Malcontents — Mr. Oglethorpe's Return to 
England — Number of Immigrants up to his Date of Departure — The 
English Settlement — Allowance to Immigrants — Beneficiaries of the 
Trustees — Rum Forbidden -Slavery Prohibited — Reason for the Pro- 
hibition of Slavery — Difiiculties Encountered by First Settlers — Failure 
of the Attempt to Make Wine and Silk — Discontent of the Colonists 
— Controversy — The Side of the Trustees — The Side of the Malcon- 
tents — List of the Malcontents — The First Office-holders and their 
Occupation — Mr. Oglethorpe's Treaty with the Creeks — The Scotch 
Settlement — Origin of the Immigration — John More Mcintosh — Pastor 
McLeod, the First Presbyterian Minister in Georgia — New Inverness 
Founded — Partial List of the Colonists in New Inverness in 1740 — 
Change of Name to Darien — Breaking up of the Scotch Settlement — 
The German Settlement — The Coming of the Salzburghers and their 
First Settlement at Ebenezer — Failure of the Settlement — Second 
Settlement — Partial List of the First Immigrants — Coming of a Second 
Colony of Germans — Frederica — Description of St. Simons Island — 
Settlement of Frederica — Rapid Growth of the City — Its Rapid Decline 
— Mr. James Spalding — Augusta Settled in 1735 — A Sketch of its First 
Years — George Galphin — Indian Slave Trade — Results of the Efforts 
of the Trustees — Change of Laws — Slavery Permitted — Practical Fail- 
ure of the Colony — The First Assembly Called — Surrender of the 
Charter — Amount of Land Granted — Religious History of the Colony 
for the First Twenty Years 1-37' 

XVI Contents. 


Under the Royal Governors. — Governor Reynolds — Some of his Dif- 
ficulties with the Colonists. — Dr. Little — Clement Martin Removed 
from the Council — Governor Reynolds Asks to be Recalled — Georgia 
as it Appeared in his Time — The Dorchester Settlement — The English 
Emigration to Dorchester, Mass. — The Settlement of Dorchester, S. C. 
— Removal to Georgia — List of the First Patentees — Midway Church 
Built — Lyman Hall and Button Gwinnett — The Land Grants Made 
by Governor Reynolds — Slavery in the Colony — Native Africans — The 
Condition of the New Negroes — Laws for Regulation of the Slaves — 
Governor Ellis — His Administration — Church of England Established 
— Episcopal Churches in Georgia — The First Presbyterian Church — 
The Congregational — The Lutheran — The List of Parishes — Governor 
James Wright — The Capital Settled in Savannah — Governor Wright's 
First Assembly — Condition of Affairs in the Colony — Troubles Im- 
pending in Consequence of the Stamp Act — Collision between Gov- 
ernor Wright and the Assembly — The Newly Ceded Lands and the 
Middle Georgia People — General View of the Colony to 1774 — Mr. 
Whitefield's College Plan— The Moral Tone of the Colony— Sabbath 
Laws — Governor James Wright's Administration — Education in the 
Colony — Advance of the Colony among the English, the Scotch, the 
Germans, in St. George's Parish, Augusta, and St. Paul's Parish — 
Social Changes — Religious Movements — Baptists Enter the State. .38- 72 


.'■Revolution. — The Call for a Meeting of the Disaffected — Appointments 
of the Revolutionary Committee — Passage of Resolutions — Governor 
Wright's Counter Movement — Call of a Congress — Failure — Dissatis- 
faction of St. John's Parish — Lyman Hall — Increase of Excitement — 
Stealing Gunpowder — War Begun at Lexington — Call for a Congress 
■ — Members of the Congress — Archibald Bulloch the President — Dr. 
Noble Wimberly Jones, John Glen, John Houston, Edward Telfair, 
Dr. Zubly. Wm. Gibbons, John Adam Truetlen, Geo. Walton — Organ- 
ization of the Council of Safety — Governor Wright Virtually Deposed 
— The Formation of the Battalion of Georgia Troops — Lachlan jNIc- 
Intosh, Samuel Elbert, John Habersham, James Jackson — Mr. Bulloch 
Elected Temporary President — Convention Called — Expedition to St. 
Augustine a Failure — Peaceful Condition of Affairs in the Colony 
1 776-1 778 — Constitutional Convention — List of Members not to be 
Found — Constitutional Provisions — Formation of Counties — Act of 
Confiscation and Amercement — Truetlen Elected Governor — Gwin- 
nett's Duel with Mcintosh — Both W^ounded — The War in Earnest 1779 
— Triumphant March of the British — Capture of Savannah — Flight of 
-Legislature — Trouble witli Tories — Capture of Augusta — Colonel 

Contents. xvii-- 

Twiggs, the Fews, Wm. Candler, Elijah Clarke — Sir James Wright at 
Home Again — Act of Proscription — The Battle of Kettle Creek — De- 
feat of General Ash — Exode to North Carolina — The Itinerating Capi- 
tal — The Loyalists and the Tories — Bloody Days — The War Drawing 
to a Close — Return of the Government to Augusta — Governor Brown- 
son — Assembly in Session — Act of Confiscation and Amercement — 
Condition of Things in 1783 — Religious Affairs — The Quakers — The 
Baptists — Marshall, Mercer, Bottsford — Characteristics of the People 
— General View of the Churches — Social Conditions just after the 
War 73- 1 1 c 


1782 TO 1789. — Georgia a Free and Independent State — Governors Hous- 
ton, Elbert, Handley, Telfair, and Mathews — Gloomy State of Affairs 
— College Projected — The Decision to Remove Capitol to Louisville — 
The State Government Temporarily in Augusta — Military Land Grants 
Issued — Rapid Settlement of the State — Indian Troubles — Oconee War 
— Paper Money Issued— Call for a Convention to Form a more Perfect 
Union — Delegates Appointed — Ratification of the Constitution of the 
United States — State Conventions — History of the Counties of Chat- 
ham, Etlfingham, Burke, Richmond, Liberty, Camden, Wilkes, Franklin, 
Washington, and Greene 11 1-165 . 


1789 TO iSoo. — George Walton Governor — Convention 1789 — Some of its 
Provisions — First General Thanksgiving Day Observed— Governor 
Telfair — General Washington's Visit to Georgia — Governor Mathews 
— New Counties — Educational Advancement — The Old Field School 
— Shooting Matches — Gander-pulling — Dancing — Fighting in the 
Ring — Horse-swapping — Drinking Habits — General Character of the 
People — The Yazoo Troubles — General Jackson's Course — Rescinding 
of the Act — Convention of 1795 — Convention of 1798 — General Jackson 
Governor — Pine-barren Frauds — History of Elbert, Columbia, Screven, 
Oglethorpe, Hancock, Bulloch, Bryan, Mcintosh, Jackson, Montgom- 
ery, Lincoln — Georgia in the Federal Union 166-227 ■ 


1800 TO 18 1 2. — The New Century and the New Era — Political Bitterness 
— Duel between Van Allen and Wm. H. Crawford — Duel between 
John Clark and Wm. H. Crawford — Jackson Elected Senator — Josiah 
Tattnall Governor — David Emanuel — John Milledge — Jared Irwin — 
David B. Mitchell — Sale of the Yazoo Lands to the United States — 
New Counties Opened — Baldwin, Wilkinson and Wayne Formed — 
New Settlements Made — The Cotton Gin — Rapid Growth of Cotton 
planting — Virginia Immigrants — North Carolina Immigration — Re- 

XVIII Contents, 

moval of the Capital — Flush Times in Georgia — The University- 
Opened — Great Religious Revival — Christ Church, Savannah — The 
Independent Church, Savannah — The Roman Catholics — The Bap- 
tists — Dr. Holcombe — Judge Clay — Jesse JNIercer — Mt. Enon Acade- 
my — The Methodists — Stith Mead — Camp-meetings — Lorenzo Dow 
— Jesse Lee — The Embargo — The Alleviating Acts — Establishment 
of the First State Bank — First Cotton and Wool Factory — First Stage 
Coach Line — River Communication. 228-295 


1S13 TO 1S20. — Peter Early — William Rabun — Matthew Talbot — Great 
Increase in Production — Advance in Population — First Steamboat Line 
— Improvement of Rivers — First Transatlantic Steamship — Roads — 
Character of the Productions of the State — Inflation — Change Bills — 
New Banks — Bank of Darien — Academies — Religious Progress — So- 
cial Conditions — The Low-Country People — The Low-Country Slaves 
— Life among the Cotton-Planters — Drinking Habits — The Cross- 
Roads Whisky Shop — The Georgia Yeomanry — The Georgia Cracker 
and his Origin — Trouble with the Creeks — Massacre of Friendly 
Indians — Political Antagonisms — Newspapers in Georgia — New Coun- 
ties — General Description of the Mountaineers — The Hill Country and 
its People — The Piny Woods Counties and the People — Emanuel — 
Irwin — Appling — Early — Walton — Habersham — Rabun 296-337 


1S20 TO 1829. — John Clarke — George M. Troup — The Treaty — John For- 
syth — Purchase of the Lands between the Ocmulgee and Flint — Great 
Purchase between Flint and Chattahoochee — The Opening of the New 
Country — Banks — Education — Lotteries — Macon — Columbus — The 
Newspapers — Dueling — Religious History of the Period — Great Revi- 
val — Jos. C. Stiles — John E. Dawson — C. D. Mallary — Stephen Olin 
— John Howard — Lovick Pierce — Settlement of the New Country — 
Flush Times — Education — Factories — Anti-Tariff Feeling — Counties 
Formed — Newton — Houston — Dooly — Monroe — Henry — Fayette — 
Dekalb — Bibb — Crawford — Pike — Upson — Decatur — Ware — Talia- 
ferro — Butts — Baker — Lee — Troup — Meriwether — Harris — Coweta 
— Campbell — Carroll — Talbot — Marion — Thomas — Lowndes — Mus- 
cogee — Randolph 338-41 



1829 TO 1837. — Governor Gilmer — Gold Discovered in Habersham — The 
Rush of Intruders — Troubles of the Governor with them and with the 
Indians — Extension of Georgia Laws over the Cherokee Nation — 
Recusant Missionaries Arrested and Convicted — Their Imprisonment 
in the State Prison — Governor Lumpkin — Governor Schley — Flush 

Contents. • xix 

Times — Banking Mania — Wild Speculation — List of Enterprises — 
l^lanual Labor Schools — Mercer University — Emory College — Ogle- 
thorpe University — Wesleyan Female College — Mission Work among 
the Cherokees — Final Removal of the Cherokees — 'Nevf Counties Laid 
Out — The Mountains and the Mountaineers — The Settlers in the Hill 
Country — State Benevolences — Asylum for Deaf and Dumb — Asylum 
for Lunatics — First Public Move towards Securing a History of Geor- 
gia — The First Geological Survey — Dr. Cotting — The Gold-seekers — 
Salting Mines — The Blue Limestone Country — Political Strife — News- 
papers — Education — Religion — The Great Railroad Movement. . .413-465 


1837 TO 1847. — Governor Gilmer — Governor McDonald — Governor Craw- 
ford — The Beginning of the Great Financial Crash — List of Banks — 
Low-price Cotton — Condition of State Treasury — Contraction of the 
Circulation — Troubles in the State Finances — Governor McDonald's 
Nerve — The Central Bank of Georgia — Cherokee County Populated — 
The Monroe Railroad Failure — Completion of the Central Railroad ; 
of the Georgia Railroad ; of the Western and Atlantic Railroad — The 
Effect of the Depression — Political Excitement — "Tippecanoe and 
Tyler too " — The Opening of Mercer and Emory — Settlement of the 
Western Counties — Features of Middle Georgia Life in 1840 — The 
Mountaineers — The WMre-grass Country — The Religious Condition of 
Georgia — The Camp-meeting — Georgia Talent in the Pulpit and on 
the Ptatform 466-478 


iS47TX3i86o. — Governor Towns — Howell Cobb — Herschel V. Johnson — 
Joseph E. Brown — The Completion of the Main Railroad Lines — A 
Picture of the Georgia People in the Middle of the Century — The Sea 
island People — The Middle Georgia Planters — The Georgia Yeo- 
manry — Introduction of Commercial Fertilizers — Manufacturing in the 
Rural Districts — Educational Facilities — The Middle Georgia Negroes 
— ^The Middle Georgia Towns and Villages — Religious Improvement 
— ^The Blue Limestone Country Developed — The Piedmont Country — 
Wonderful Development of Southwest Georgia — The Wire-grass 
Country again — M. & B. and A. c& G. R. R. — Features of Every-day 
Life — Days of Prosperity — Banks — The Panic of 1857 — Suspension of 
the Banks — Passage of the Stay Law — Illiteracy of the People — 
Measure of Thomas R. R. Cobb to Dispel It — The Daily Press — The 
Southern Cidtivator — The Agricultural Society — The First Agricultural 
Fair in Georgia — The End of the Current History — General Account 
of the Origin of the Georgians — Coming of the Catholic Irish and of 
the Jewish Traders 479-491 

XX • Contents. 


Religion in Georgia. — Episcopalians, Presbyterians, Baptists, Metho- 
dists, Roman Catholics, Jews, Other Small Bodies, Temperance 
Reform 492-501 


Education in Georgia. — First School at Ebenezer — Mr. DeLamotte in 
Savannah — Schools in Dorchester Settlements — School in Augusta — 
Constitutional Provision for Public Education — Academies Established 
and Endorsed — Old Field Schools — Appropriation for Poor Scholars 
— Appropriation for Academies — General Cobb's Measures for Public 
Schools — Private Academies and High Schools in Georgia — Mr. 
Whitefield's Effort to Establish a College — The Proposition for a State 
University — The Charter Granted and the University Established at 
Athens — First Graduates — A Glance at the History of the Institution — 
First Methodist School — School at Salem — Manual Labor School — 
Emory College Established — Glance at its History — First Baptist 
School at Enon — Manual Labor School at Penfield — Mercer University- 
Established — Its History — Oglethorpe University — Sidney Lanier — 
First Female College in the World Established in Macon, Ga. — 
History of the Georgia after\vard the Wesleyan Female College — 
Lagrange Female College — Georgia Female College — Monroe Female 
College — Andrew Female College — Young Harris College — North 
Georgia Agricultural and Military College — South Georgia College at 
McRae — Industrial College at Milledgeville — Technological College 
in Atlanta — Colleges for Negroes and Colored People — Cox Female 
College — Gainesville Female College — Shorter Female College — Dal- 
ton Female College — Lucy Cobb Institute — Gordon Institute — R. E. 
Lee Institute, Thomaston 502-513', 

The Cities 5I4-5SS' 


Headrights Granted by the Colonial and State Governments 
from 1754 to 1800. — List of Soldiers of the Line — Soldiers 
Paid in Money — Bounty Warrants — List of Counties 557-63+ 

The Story of Georgia and the Georgia People. 



Preliminary — Carolina Settled — Mr. Oglethorpe Plans a Benevolent Colony — 
A Board of Trustees Organized — The King Makes a Grant of Territory West 
of the Savannah River — Proposal Made to Immigrants — Immigrjition of 
Thirty-tive Families — Dr, Herbert First Clergyman — Immigrants Arrive at 
Charleston and Beaufort — Colonel Bull and Mr. Oglethorpe Select a Place for 
the Settlement of the Colony — Tomichichi and his People — Savannah Laid 
Out — Coming of the Salzburghers — Coming of the Highlanders — Second 
Immigration of English People, Salzburghers and Moravians — Troubles 
with the Spaniards — Mr. Oglethorpe Commissioned a Colonel, Raises a 
Regiment and Commands the British Forces — The Spanish War — The War 
Over — Mr. Oglethorpe at Frederica — Trouble with Malcontents — Mr. 
Oglethorpe's Return to England — Number of Immigrants up to his Date of 
Departure — The English Settlement — Allowance to Immigrants — Beneficia- 
ries of the Trustees — Rum Forbidden — Slavery Prohibited — Reason for the 
Prohibition of Slavery — Difficulties Encountered by First Settlers — Failure of 
the Attempt to Make Wine and Silk — Discontent of the Colonists — Contro- 
versy — The Side of the I'rustees — The Side of the Malcontents — List of the 
Malcontents — The First Office-holders and their Occupation — Mr. Ogle- 
thorpe's Treaty with the Creeks — The Scotch Settlement — Origin of the 
Immigration — John More Mcintosh — Pastor McLeod, the First Presbyterian 
Minister in Georgia — New Inverness Founded — Partial List of the Colonists 
in New Inverness in 1740 — Change of Name to Darien — Breaking up of the 
Scotch Settlement — The German Settlement — The Coming of the Salzburgh- 
ers and their First Settlement at Ebenezer- Failure of the Settlement — 
Second Settlement — Partial List of the First Immigrants — Coming of a 
Second Colony of Germans — Frederica — Description of St. Simons Island — 
Settlement of Frederica — Rapid Growth of the City — Its Rapid Decline — 
Mr. James Spalding — Augusta Settled in 1735— A Sketch of its First Years 
— George Galphin— Indian Slave Trade - Results of the Efforts of the Trus- 
tees — Change of Laws — Slavery Permitted — Practical Failure of the Colony 
— The First Assembly Called — Surrender of the Charter — Amount of Land 
Granted — Religious History of the Colony for the First Twenty Years. 

Authorities : Hewitt, McCall, Stevens, Jones, Historical Collections L, II., III., 
IV., Wm. Stephens's Journal, Wesley's Journal, Whitfield's Journal, Harris's 
Memorials of Oglethorpe. 

Georgia History, so far as it concerns itself with much 
the larger part of its first settlers, begins in Virginia. Those 
European immigrants who settled near Savannah, and who 

2 The Story of Georgia [Chap. I. 

came directly to Georgia from England, Germany, Scotland 
and Ireland, were not many. 

There was little progress in Georgia until after 1752, 
when the tide of immigration came in from South Carolina, 
Virginia and North Carolina, and the American origin of 
the first Georgians is largely to be found in the old Virginia 

The researches of Mr. Alexander Brown, the Rev. Dr. 
Niele, Dr. R. A. Brock, Mr. E. A. Stannard, Mr. A. C. 
Bruce, the collections of the Virginia Historical Society 
and the various histories of Virginia, all cast light on the 
origin of the Georgia people. 

To begin the study of the larger part of the Georgians 
we must begin with the London company. 

England claimed the whole North American continent 
by virtue of John Cabot's discovery of Newfoundland, but 
one hundred years had gone before she made any effort to 
settle the wilds. After Sir Walter Raleigh's failure to make 
a permanent settlement in the latter part of the sixteenth 
century, in the early part of the seventeenth a company of 
English adventurers, known as the London company, was 
organized. This was a great stock company, whose avowed 
aim was to Christianize the Indians, and whose real aim 
was to get large dividends from the mines and the fields 
and forests of the new world. The list of the members of 
this company and the amount of money each man contrib- 
uted has been preserved. For near twenty years this 
company made constant efforts and spent much money in 
order to settle the colony, and by the year 1624 the inhab- 
itants of the colony were about twelve hundred. In 1624 
the London company passed out of sight, the charter being 
revoked by the king. This company took in all classes of 
Englishmen of means. Noblemen, gentlemen, tradesmen, 
clergymen and corporations all invested, allured by the 
returns secured by the Spanish in South America, the 

1732-17i:4.] AND THE (iEOIUilA PeOPLE. 3 

Portuguese in Africa, and the Dutch in India. The immense 
profits which these people gained inspired the hope of those 
who invested their money in Virginia stock that they would 
be equally fortunate. 

The stockholders of this company, when it went into 
liquidation, received lands for their investment at one half 
shilling per acre, and the foundations of the immense landed 
estates of Virginia were laid by the shareholders of the 
London company, and it was in this way that so many of 
the descendants of these people were found in Virginia in 
its early history, and afterwards in Georgia. The first 
settlements in Virginia were made on the rivers, and a large 
body of Virginians were found in eastern North Carolina 
early in the eighteenth century, and from thence came into 
Georgia. Many Georgia families count their origin as 
North Carolinian when it was really Virginian, and many 
South Carolina people who came to Georgia had an ancestry 
which one hundred years before was in Virginia. There 
were very few people of any considerable estate who came 
to Virginia in its first settlement. The days of Virginia's 
splendor, when the old Virginian begins his story, were not 
for fifty years after the first settlement of the colony, and 
though many of the early settlers were sons of noblemen 
and of gentlemen, they were very poor, and many a man 
entitled by his birth to a coat of arms had some difficulty 
in getting a coat of frieze to cover his arms. In those early 
days men who came from lordly halls in England lived in 
log cabins and toiled with their own hands. Not a few 
people of distinction in after time were redemptioners who 
worked for five years after they came to America to pay 
back their passage money to the planter who bought them 
for that time from the ship captain. 

While this last stated fact is true, it is only exceptionally 
true, and it will be seen that the men of small means, who 
came from the upper and middle classes of England, Scot- 


The Story of Georgia 

[Chap. I. 

land and Wales, men who had some education and some 
small means, were largely the ancestors of the present race 

of Georgians. 

That part of the colony of South Carolina, now Georgia 
and Alabama and Mississippi, was only settled by a few 
scattered Indians, and in it the Indian trader had now and 
then a warehouse and a ranch. 

Gen. James Oglethorpe. 


Florida was held by the restless and grasping Spaniard, 
who also laid claims to the lands on the Tombigbee and 
the Mississippi. The Spaniards menaced the South Caro- 
lina colony, and the English authorities realized the im- 
portance of settling a strong colony nearer Florida ; so 
when Mr. Oglethorpe and his associates asked George II. 
for a grant of land for their projected refuge for the unfor- 
tunate, they met with a ready resjjonse, and all of the 
country originally granted to the proprietors which lay 
west of the Savannah was granted to them for the benev- 

1732-1754.] AND THE GEORGIA PeOPLE. 6 

olent purpose they had in view. George II. made the 
grant, and in his honor the colony was called Georgia. 
There were associated with Mr. Oglethorpe in the trustee- 
ship of the new colony twenty others. They were noble- 
men and gentlemen, and had a charter carefully drawn, 
which was to run for twenty years. Mr. Oglethorpe was 
selected by them for the work of planting the colony. 

He was a member of Parliament, an English gentleman 
in easy circumstances and of excellent family. He had 
been educated at Oxford and had in his youth entered the 
army and served on the continent under Prince Eugene. 
He served on the prince's staff until the peace, then re- 
turned to England and was elected to Parliament, of which 
he was an active member in 1730. He was a man of 
gentle nature and of philanthropic spirit, and was led 
to enterprise an over-the-sea colony by finding that a 
friend of his, a baronet who had become involved in debt 
and who was confined in a debtors' prison, was in irons for 
some infraction of prison laws. The severe punishment 
inflicted on his friend led him to look into the matter of 
imprisonment for debt, and to ask if a plan could not be 
devised by which those who were poor and embarrassed 
might be kept out of debtors' prisons. An over-the-sea 
colony suggested itself. He would give the poor a chance 
in the new world to make a living, and, if in debt, to pay 
their creditors. His plan was not, as many have supposed, 
to pay poor debtors out of prison, but rather to give poor 
men a chance to keep out. To accomplish this extensive 
grants of land were to be made by the crown, and then by 
public aid and private contribution means were to be pro- 
vided to settle needy families. They were to be those who 
could not make a comfortable living in England, men of 
good morals, who were not in debt, or, if in debt, whose 
creditors were willing for them to leave England. The 

6 The Story of Georgia [Chap. i. 

grant was secured, the charter was written, and the trustees 
were given large powers by the crown. 

Mr. Oglethorpe, who had charge of the colony, was per- 
haps a little visionary, but he was nobly unselfish and 
heroic, and devoted himself to the interest committed to 
his charge with great zeal. 

The English Parliament granted ;^io,000 to the new col- 
ony in order to put it on its feet, and the English philan- 
thropists subscribed liberally to the funds the trustees were 
securing for their project. They were now prepared to 
offer inducements to those who were willing to emigrate 
to the new colony. The colonists were to have a free pas- 
sage across the sea, a town lot and a section of land, and 
were to be clothed and fed at the expense of the trustees 
for a twelvemonth. 

The land to which they were going was contiguous to 
prosperous Carolina, and was pictured to them as an Eden. 
The silkworm and the vineyard they were assured would 
enrich them in a few years. 

There should be no negro slaves to compete with them, 
and no large landed proprietors to monopolize their terri- 
tory. They should have vines and fig-trees, and none 
should make them afraid. 

So thirty -five families — carpenters, brick -layers, and 
farmers — with Dr. Herbert, a clergyman of the Church of 
England, as their chaplain, took passage at Deptford on the 
1 6th November, 1732, and on the 12th of January, 1733, 
the Ann reached Charleston, S. C, on its way to Georgia. 

The Carolinians received these new adventurers ver^^ 
kindly and convoyed their ship to Beaufort, where a smaller 
craft was provided to take them to some point on the 
west side of the Savannah river. Mr. Oglethorpe and the 
benevolent Colonel Bull made a prospecting tour up the 
Savannah river while the immigrants remained at Beaufort, 
and they decided to fix the settlement near Yamacraw town, 


AND THE Georgia People. 

some eighteen miles from the mouth of the Savannah, on a 
high bluff on the west side of the stream. This city stands 
to-day near where it was located by Oglethorpe in 1733, and 
Yamacraw still holds its old name on the map and in com- 
mon parlance. The settlers were provided with abundant 


supplies of necessary things. The generous Mr. Whittaker 
from South Carolina furnished one hundred head of cattle 
to give them a start, and Colonel Bull, Mr. Barlow, Mr. 
St. Julian, Mr. Woodward and Mr. Joseph Bryan, all wealthy 
planters, brought over a number of their slaves from South 
Carolina to assist them in building their houses. 

8 The Story of Georgia [Chap. I. 

There was no trouble to be expected from the poverty- 
stricken band of runaway Indians at Yamacraw, and Mr, 
Oglethorpe soon made a good friend of Tomichichi, who 
was head chief of the tribe. The colonists were sheltered 
in cloth tents on their first landing, and as it was in a 
Savannah February they were abundantly comfortable. 

The bluff on which they had pitched their tents was 
covered with wide-spreading live-oaks, and a short distance 
away from the river was a wide stretch of pine forest. 
Colonel Bull and Mr. Bryan brought over some sawyers from 
their plantations, saw pits were dug and the pines were cut 
into boards, and the carpenters went to work to provide 
houses for these homeless Englishmen. 

The little houses, i6 x 24, made of pine boards, were soon 
erected, a board tabernacle for a church was built, and then 
Mr. Oglethorpe proceeded to select a place for a fort for 
the protection of the colony from the Spaniards. He went 
across the country some twenty miles to the Ogeechee and 
built a fort called Fort Argyle, and settled a few families 
around it, and north of Savannah he located the village of 
Abercorn, where there were placed ten families. 

The next immigrants to the colony were a body of Salz- 
burghers. They were originally Austrians who had been 
driven from the Tyrol and who had been living for a time 
in Germany. They were Lutherans of the Pietist wing, 
people famous for their solid worth, and they had been 
invited to settle in this new colony, and the society for the 
propagation of the gospel in foreign parts had consented 
to pay the cost of transporting them. They were cordially 
welcomed by Mr. Oglethorpe and were permitted to select 
a home for themselves. Their agents selected a place in 
what is now Effingham, and they settled a village called 
Ebenezer. This spot was not happily chosen, and the next 
year they removed to another spot nearer the river, to 
which they gave the same name. There were a few Je\vs> 


originally from Portugal but directly from England, and a 
few French Huguenots who came from South Carolina. 
These were the first immigrants. 

In July, the city having been tastefully laid out, there was 
allotted to each immigrant a town lot, a garden of five acres 
and a farm of forty-five acres, in all fifty acres. This prop- 
erty, however, was not granted in fee simple but was to de- 
scend to heirs, male, and in case there were none, then it was 
to revert to the trust. The English settlers received their 
grants in and around Savannah, and the Salzburghers had 
lands granted them some twenty miles away. 

A body of Scotch Highlanders was the next considerable 
body of immigrants. They came from the north of Scot- 
land and were settled by Oglethorpe at a place near the 
mouth of the Altamaha, which they called New Inverness, 
near what is now Darien. 

Early in 1735 Mr. Oglethorpe, having settled these first 
colonists, returned to England, and in the fall of that year 
came again to Georgia with a large body of immigrants 
composed of Germans and Englishmen, and located a new 
town on the island of St. Simons, which he called Frederica. 
With these German Salzburghers there came another body 
of German religionists, the Moravians, who came to Georgia 
to Christianize the Indians, but after making a settlement 
called Irene, they removed to Pennsylvania to their larger 
settlement at Bethlehem. 

The troubles with Spain were increasing, and it was evi- 
dent that there would be a collision between the English 
and the Spaniards, and Mr. Oglethorpe went back to England 
to get a commission as colonel and to recruit a regiment 
for service in the colony. He endeavored to secure married 
men for his recruits, that they might bring their wives with 
them, so that when discharged they would remain in the 

The war came, as was expected, and Mr. Oglethorpe, now 

10 The Story of Georgia [Cuap. I. 

commander-in-chief, with the aid of troops from the South 
Carolina colony, made an abortive effort to capture St. 
Augustine, and the Spaniards in return made a failure in 
their effort to capture Frederica, and the war ended in- 
gloriously. Mr. Oglethorpe, henceforth known as General, 
became involved in some unpleasant affairs with some of 
his subalterns and demanded a court of inquiry. He re- 
turned to England and was fully vindicated. 

He did not again visit the colony for whose interests he 
had labored so hard and sacrificed so much. He was very 
bitterly assailed by some hialcontents, and vigorous pam- 
phlets making all kinds of charges were written against him. 
The reader of these attacks will decide that they are unsup- 
ported by facts and do great injustice to one whose motives 
were of the noblest kind, although his jud*gment on the 
practical affairs of the colony was none of the best. 

During his administration there were sent over, at the ex- 
pense of the trustees, 1,521 immigrants, of whom 687 
were foreigners. These immigrants were settled at and 
around Savannah, Ebenezer, Darien and Frederica. 

General Oglethorpe has received so large a share of 
attention on the part of all who have written of Georgia 
that it is hardly necessary that I should say much of him 
here. Save to bring over the first two bodies of colonists 
and to conduct the Spanish war, he had but little to do 
with the Georgia colony or the Georgia people. He only 
spent seven years in Georgia. He went back to England 
and retired to his estate. Here he remained until the 
troubles with the Pretender began, and he was selected as 
brigadier to command some of the militia, but did little 
military service. He had a nominal connection with the 
British army, and living to a great age, was at one time 
the oldest general in the service. He has been very highly 
eulogized, and perhaps he has been overpraised and his 


■AND THE Georgia People. 11 

services to the Georgia colony have been rated too highly. 
but he is worthy of very high commendation. 

We will now take a more careful view of the social con- 
dition of the people and glance first at the English settlers. 

The colonies in Virginia and New England were over 
one hundred years old. They were thickly peopled, and 
their inhabitants were in many respects in as comfortable 
circumstances as people of the same class were in Europe. 
Large fortunes had been made in many cases, especially in 
Virginia and Maryland and in the New England cities, and 
all the comforts and many of the luxuries of London and 
Bristol and Rotterdam were brought into Virginia, Massa- 
chusetts, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and New York. 

The valley of Virginia was now being opened to settle- 
ment, and bodies of fine settlers were finding homes in the 
fertile valley of the Yadkin in North Carolina. South 
Carolina, in which slavery was allowed, was very prosper- 
ous, and there was a great area in that colony yet unsettled 
where free homes were awaiting all comers. 

There was but little inducement for men of capital to 
emigrate to Georgia, and she was dependent upon the 
poorer class for her settlers. 

In 1735, when the second bod}^ of English emigrants 
was to be sent out, in order to induce emigration it was 
agreed to give to every man who would go to the new col- 
ony a watch-coat, a musket and a bayonet, a hatchet, hand- 
saw, shovel, spade, three hoes, a gimlet, a drawing-knife, 
and a frying-pan. There should be given to each one 
during the year, 312 pounds of beef or pork, 104 pounds 
of rice, 104 pounds of cornmeal and peas, 104 pounds of 
flour, I pint of beer for each working-day, 52 quarts of 
molasses, 16 pounds of cheese, 12 pounds of butter, 12 
pounds of sugar, 4 gallons of vinegar, 24 pounds of 
salt, 12 quarts of lamp oil, 20 pounds of soap, and i 

12 The IStory of Georgia ' [Chap. l. 

pound spun cotton. The same allowance of food was to 
be made to women and half that to each child. 

In consideration of this they were to work for the col- 
ony for twelve months, and then settle in the town or coun- 
try near by, on lots granted to them. These lots were not 
to be united and could not be sold without a special 
license. If the land was not improved in ten years it 
should be forfeited to the colony. A rent charge of two 
shillings for each fifty acres was to be a fixed charge. 

None could take advantage of these offers but persons 
in decayed circumstances and those who had large families 
and whose habits were good. Emigrants might take a 
male servant or an apprentice whose expenses in three 
years should be repaid to the trustees. To us of this day 
it would seem as if stupidity could have gone no further than 
in the adoption of some of the regulations of the trustees, 
and that if they had aimed to prevent the settlement of 
the colony they could not have worked more effectively. 
The trustees made a provision that no rum should be sold 
in the colony, and that if any one brought in any of the 
fiery spirit the casks should be staved and the same poured 
out. When the drinking habits of the people at that time 
are remembered, when there was as yet no temperance so- 
cieties, when at the raising of church buildings in New 
England the keg of rum was always opened, when pious 
deacons distilled the spirit with a good conscience, when 
the good pastor had his rum toddy to recruit his exhausted 
strength after his long Sabbath labors, when ministers and 
physicians defended the use of rum as a necessity in the 
malarious sections, it was a remarkable evidence of ad- 
vanced views that the trustees endeavored to prevent the 
introduction of rum into the Georgia colony. Their well- 
devised scheme came to naught, and it is probable that 
rum was openly sold in Savannah almost from the be- 



If the views of the trustees on rum and on African slavery- 
could have been carried out as perfectly in all the colony 
as they were for twenty years in the Ebenezer settlement, 
the prosperity that from the beginning marked that com- 
munity might have attended all Georgia from the first, but 
the unhappy regulation concerning land tenures, added to 
the prohibition of negro slavery, turned the tide of immi- 
gration into South Carolina and North Carolina, and the 
Georgia colony was neglected. The law forbidding the 
introduction of slaves was not made because slavery was 
thought to be a moral evil, but for purely economic reasons; 
and the practical workings of the law soon demonstrated 
the fact that its enforcement would prevent all development, 
for the country on the coast could not be developed by 
white labor. So most of the few people of means who came 
into the colony at its first settlement, and who tried to use 
white men as laborers, were compelled to remove to South 
Carolina, where they could get negroes. 

There was no commerce. Rice and indigo, which made 
South Carolina rich, could not be cultivated without negro 
labor. There was no manufacturing of any kind. The few 
men of means, for none could be called wealthy, soon had 
stock ranches and depended on the wild grasses and nuts 
for food for their cows and ponies and hogs. The poorer 
classes, many of whom were day-laborers and artisans or 
small farmers, were dependent largely on the company 
stores to keep them from want. The country on the coast 
was far from fertile, and life was very hard at best. 

The main part of the poorer Englishmen were not farmers 
but came from the cities and were dependent upon handi- 
work for a living, and those who attempted to farm on their 
small tracts near Savannah made a poor out of it. Mr. 
Wesley,* who came in 1737, says "the land was of four 
sorts, pine-barren, oak, marshes and hummocks. The pine 

* Wesley's Journal. 

1-1 TuE Story of Georgia [Chap. I. 

land was cleared with difficulty, and produced the first year 

from two to four bushels of corn and from four to eiorht 


bushels of peas. The second year it produced half as much 
and the third year nothing. The oak lands were better,, 
producing as much as ten bushels of corn per acre. 

"The savannas and marshes furnished some pasturage. 
There were two kinds of grapes, the fox - grape and the 
cluster. The chinkapin and huckleberry and persimmon were 
wild fruits." As Mr. Wesley had never been twenty miles 
from the coast, his knowledge of the real value of the lands 
of the interior was exceedingly limited, but his account of 
the farming lands near Savannah and down the coast to 
Frederica is very correct, and these were the lands upon 
which the first comers were located. When one thinks of 
an Englishman who had been brought up in the fertile 
island going with his axe into a Georgia pine wood or a 
Georgia swamp to clear his field and make it ready for the 
hoe, for he had neither team nor plow, and that in an almost 
torrid clime ; and when he adds to that the wide sweep of 
deadly malaria in the fall, he can well understand the 
supreme disgust with which the immigrants looked upon 
farm life in Georgia. The trustees had hoped to found in 
Georgia a silk-raising colony ; the same scheme which had 
fascinated the Virginians over a hundred years before, and 
which had resulted in failure there, was to be found practi- 
cable in a softer clime. 

So they had planted the mulberry and had brought over 
Mr. Camuse and his too bibulous wife and a supply of 
cocoons and began to raise silkworms and make silk, and 
when raw silk was made sufficient to weave a robe for the 
queen they were quite sure failure was impossible. Silk- 
raising was the "will-o'-the-wisp" to the Georgia colony 
for several disappointing years. 

The raising of grapes from which to make wine began 
well and promised well, but it was soon found to be imprac— 

1732 1754.] AND THE GEORGIA PeOPLE. " 15 

ticable to make good wine in a climate so hot, and this- 
enterprise was also given over. 

The colonists were not prosperous and laid the blame of 
their straitened condition on Mr. Oglethorpe, who spent all 
his time at Frederica, and there was formed an anti- 
Oglethorpe party. The Oglethorpe party was under the 
control of the secretary of the colony, afterwards Governor 
William Stephens, who was the son of an English baronet, 
and had been a member of Parliament, and the anti-Ogle- 
thorpe party was led by his son, Thomas Stephens.* This 
last named gentleman was selected by sundry citizens to go 
to England and present their grievances to the trustees, 
which he did very vigorously, if not very skilfully. The 
result of it was that he was compelled to apologize for his 
reflections upon the good governor, and the friends of Mr. 
Oglethorpe published in 1740 a statement of the Province 
of Georgia, attested upon oath, which was designed to show 
how successfully all things had been managed. This 
account stated that the ground produced corn, rice, peas, 
potatoes, pumpkins, melons, wheat, oats, barley, mulberry 
trees, vines and cotton. That hogs and cattle increased 
beyond imagination. That there was considerable trade in 
the river. 

That there was a court-house, a gaol, a storehouse, a 
wharf, a guard-house, and some other public buildings. A 
garden of ten acres in the city. Oranges had not yet been 
grown successfully, but would be. Silk was increasing. 
Vines grew luxuriantly, and some good white wine had 
been made. The trustees had a number of cattle. There 
were villages at Abercorn, Highgate and Hampstead. The 
houses in Darien were mostly huts, but tight and warm, 
and there was a little fort there. Frederica was very pros- 
perous. f The people sent on charity from England were 

* Mr. Stephens's Journal. 

t Georgia Historical Collections, Vol. I. 

16 TuE Story of Georgia [Chap. I. 

of the unfortunate. Some of them had thriven. Some 
were worthless and ran away to South Carolina to live by 
cunning. The servants picked up in London had proven 
worthless. The Germans had done well. This cheerinsT 
report was signed by Patrick Graham, John Burton, Wil- 
liam Stephens, Joe Fitzwalter, Joe Pavey, Henry Parker, 
James Carswell, Robert Hanks, Thomas Jones, Thomas 
Upton, Samuel Mercer, John Milledge, Giles Bean, 
Thomas Bailey, Aaron Campbell, Thomas Egerton. George 
Johnson, John Rae, Thomas Cindlell, Samuel Parker, Noble 
Jones, Anthony Camuse, Thomas Palmer, Thomas Young, 
Thomas Ellis.* 

The anti-Oglethorpe people were not to be suppressed, 
and so Mr. Thomas Stephens, still sore over his experience 
at court, and Sir Richard Everhard prepared a spicy rebut- 
tal, supported also by oaths. They said: "The agricul- 
tural condition was very bad. There was no magistrate in 
Darien or Ebenezer. The magistrates in Savannah and 
Frederica had so disregarded law as to be worse than none. 
The militia was untrained. The land was held on unsatis- 
factory tenures. Rum was not allowed and negroes were 
forbidden. Thomas Jones, the storekeeper, was a felon." 
These charges they tried to support by afifidavits of the mal- 
contents from all parts of the colony. But the affidavits do 
not support any charges of a serious nature againr.t Gen- 
eral Oglethorpe or his chief officers. The}^ only show the 
great discontent of the colonists and the low state which 
the colony had reached. The fact was the poor people 
had many of them been grievously misled by the glowing 
pictures presented by the first visitors to the colony, and 
were not prepared to adjust themselves to the condition of 
things ; and it is evident that, while the trustees were per- 
fectly sincere and unselfish, they knew nothing of the real 
difficulties which were to be overcome. f 

* Georgia Historical Collections, Vol. 2. 
"I" Georgia Historical Collections, Vol. 2. 


AND THE Georgia People. 17 

The malcontents who signed the declaration were : 
John Amory, Ren Adams, Thos. Andrews, Thos. Atwill, 
Thomas Antrobus, James Anderson, Hugh Anderson, John 
Brownfield, John Burton, Chas. Brittain, Jas. Burnside, F. 
Brooks, M. Bright, R. Bradley, M. Burkhalter, J. Blands, W. 
Barbo, P. Balliol, E. Bush, G. Bean, G. Bunch, P. Butler, T. 
Baillie, A. Bell, H. Buckley, L. Brown, W. Blecheman, A. Ban, 
T. Becher, W. Calvert, W. Carter, T. Cross, W. Cothred, J 
Clark, J. Cundale, Wm. Cooksey, Jno. Jacob Curl, A. Camuse, 
T. Clyatt, John Carneck, J. Cuthbert, J. Coin, John Clark, J. 
Dormer, J. Desborough, R. Davis, T. Delegal, Andrew Duchie, 
Thomas Dawson, J. Dodds, D. Douglas, J. Duddery, D. Douglas, 
S Davidson, W. Davy, J. Dean, P. Delegal, E. Davidson, C. 
Dasher, W. Elbert, Thomas Edgerton, John Evans, W. Ewen, 
T. Ellis, P. Emery, W. Evans, H. Frazer, J. Fitzwalter, H. 
Fletcher, W. Francis, John Fallowfield, W. Fox, E. Foster, T. 
Frazer, J. Foulds, R. Gilbert, P. Gordon, Pat. Grahame, John 
Grahame, D. Grendee, W. Greenfield, C. Greenfield, W. Grech- 
son, J. Hetreman, Jas. Galloway, Jas. Gould, G. Herbougl, A. 
Glenn, Thos. Gaulet, Jas. Houston, M. German, Geo. Gorland, 
T. Hetherington, Jno. Gould, H. Green, J. Harboughs, C. 
Grunaldi, A. Grant, Jas. Jeansack, John Goldwire, R. Howes, 
Peter Jouberts, S. Holmes, J. Haselfoot, Ed. Jenkins, John 
Kelly, Wm. Kennedy, L. Lacy, R. Lobb, J. Cannon, P. 
Cantey, M. Lowley, H. Lloyd, L. Lyon, J. Loudry, Thomas 
Lee, S. Mercer, S. Marrauld, S. Montford, F. Mellichamp, J. 
McDonald, P. McKay, B. Mcintosh, J. Mcintosh, B. McKay, 
J. Muse, A. McBride, J. Miller, T. Neale, T. Ormston, C. 
Arlraan, K. O. Brien, H. Parker, Wm. Parker, T. Morris, Sam'l 
Parker, J. Prestwood, Jno. Pye, R. Parker, J. Penrose, W. Pen- 
dicke, J. Papot, J. Pemberton, J. Perkins, G. Phillip, S. Rien- 
well, R. Rogers, Jno. Robe, Geo. Rush, J. Rae, A. Rose, J. 
Roberson, A. Rantowle, J. Watson, W. Rigdon, Hugh Ross, A. 
Reynolds, J. M. Rizer, L. Stamon, W. Starflichts, J. Stanley, D. 
Stewart, J. Smith, A. Simes, L. Sumners, J. Smith, J. Sellie, L. 
Salter, J. Scott, J. Smalley, D. Snook, G. Stephens, D. Snook, 
J. Spielberger, Jno. Spencer, G. Stephens, J. Smithers, John 
Scott, Jas. Springer, W. Stenhouse, J. Smalley, Jno. Scott, J. 

18 The Story of Georgia [Chap. I. 

Mackfield, L. Sparnell, W. Speeling, R. Williams, Peter Ector, 
E. Townsend, Geo. Tyrrell, S. Tarrian, J. Truan, T. Tripp, T. 
Tibbetts, P. Tailfer, A. Taylor, T. Upton, J. Williams, J. Watts, 
S. Ward, Geo. Waterman, J. Wilson, W. Williamson, W. Wood, 
J. White, T. Wattle, A. Walker, W. Woodruff, T. Webb, W. 
Wardrop, J. Warwick, Isaac Young, John Young, Thos. Young. 

These composed a very large part of the freeholders of 
the colony and were from all the settled parts of it. This 
list of names is specially valuable, as it gives us a knowL 
edge of some of the first settlers. In the declaration there 
is also information as to the avocations of those who 
signed the other paper. It will be seen that there are a 
number of names found on both papers. The malcontents 
endeavored to show that those who did not sign their 
paper were interested in some way with the Government. 
It gives the avocations of some of the first people. 

Patrick Graham was apothecary to the trustees; J. Fitz- 
walter, gardener; J. Carwells, jailer; T. Upton, commands 
a garrison of five men; Giles Beca, a baker; Thomas Eger- 
ton, grandson of wheelright; A. Camuse, silk man; John 
Burton, town officer; James Pavey, in pay at Augusta; R. 
Hankes, town officer ; Thomas Bayley, smith ; George 
Johnson, sawyer; S. Parker, son-in-law of Mercer; William 
Stephens, secretary of colony; H. Parker, magistrate ; T. 
Jones, magistrate, overseer, storekeeper; Samuel Mercer, 
constable; James Campbell, jailer; James Rae, scout, boat- 
man; Noble Jones, commands a garrison; Thomas Young, 
wheelright; Thomas Ellis, surveyor. The storekeeper of 
the trustees had been Thomas Causton. He was the pros- 
ecutor of John Wesley. He became involved in his ac- 
counts with the trustees and was called home to England 
to settle them and died on his returning voyage. 

The silk industry had failed. The people were not pros- 
pering, and when Mr. Oglethorpe returned to England he 
gave up his place and never came back to Georgia. He 




lived long and honorably after his return to Ehgland, and 
his honest intentions to do good have never been ques- 
tioned. Few men were less capacitated to do the work he 
had in hand than he was, but no man ever tried more 
earnestly to do what duty demanded. 

While Mr. Oglethorpe was here he made a treaty with 
the Creeks, going to the nation to do so, which was of 
great value to the colony. He was evidently more anxious 
to build up Frederica than Savannah, and was by no means 
popular with the colonists who had located themselves near 
the city which had been the first founded by him in Georgia. 


The people who came to the colony were in the main 
Church of England people and brought with them a pastor 
from England, Dr. Henry Herbert. His health failed and 
he returned to England and Mr. Josiah Quincy was his 
successor, and after he left the colony Mr. John Wesley was 
the rector of the church, and after two years Mr. Whitfield 
came out. Of these we have given a full account in the 
last chapter of this book, in which the history of the early 
days of the church in Savannah is given at length. This is, 
however, the proper place to recognize the fact of Mr. 
Whitfield's establishment of the Bethesda Home for orphans, 
of which a full account will be found in the chapter on the 
Story of the Cities (chapter 14). 

20 The Story of Georgia [Chap. i. 

This English settlement, as I designate the one near 
Savannah, was by no means purely English. Some of the 
leading settlers in it were Scotchmen, and as we have seen 
elsewhere, some of them were Jews and Italians. The 
planters, at the time that Oglethorpe left the colony, were 
few and perhaps none of them in easy circumstances, and 
the larger part of the people were poor and disheartened. 
Secretary Stephens has left a copious journal, beginning 
with 1737 and going to 1742, and from it we gather that 
Patrick Houston, afterward Sir Patrick, Mr. Cuthbert, Mr. 
Noble Jones, Mr. Fallowfield, Mr. DcLacy, Mr. Thomas 
Jones, Mr. Mathews (who married Mary, the Creek princess). 
Dr. Patrick Grahame and a few others were the only people 
near Savannah who had any considerable quantity of land. 
Savannah was a straggling village of small log huts or 
houses built of sheathing plank. In the account of the cities 
the reader will find a more satisfactory statement of the 
first years of this principal village of the c :)lony. The 
larger part of the inhabitants of the English colony lived 
near the village of Savannah and made a scanty livelihood 
by cultivating the land contiguous to it, and by doing such 
work as was to be found to do in so small a hamlet. When 
Mr. Whitfield began to build his orphans' home at Bethesda 
he gave employment to many of the people, much to their 
relief. They had their forty-acre fields on the outskirts and 
their little houses in the village, and soon . gathered about 
them some cattle and hogs, and managed with their fishing- 
nets and fowling-pieces and the produce of their herds and 
fields to live in a plain and simple way. There were very 
few of them who were prosperous. There was some small 
trade, and, as we see from the account of the city, there was 
some gaiety to be found in the city even thtn There was, 
however, for the first twenty years in this English settle- 
ment nothing like prosperity. 

1732-1754.] AND THE GeoRCJIA 1'eOPLE. 21 


The sturdy Scotch Highlanders had little sympathy with 
the House of Hanover, and finding life hard among the wild 
hills of their native land were easily persuaded by Captain 
Mackay to come to the new colony of Georgia, which was 
jjictured to them in the glowing language of the times as a 
land where all that man wanted could be had for the ask- 
ing. Mr. John More Mcintosh, a Scotch laird, the head of 
his clan, consented to lead the colony, and one hundred and 
thirty of them, with fifty women, took shipping from Inver- 
ness for Georgia. They reached Savannah in due time and 
then went in flat-bottomed boats to find their new home 
sixteen miles from Frederica, on the Altamaha. 

Calling their town New Inverness, they established their 
settlement, built their huts and were just getting settled 
when the war with Spain began. 

Mr. McLeod was their minister, and he had established 
the first Presbyterian kirk in Georgia, and he tells of how 
the sad failure of their hopes led the poorer Highlanders 
all to enlist in General Oglethorpe's army. By a night attack 
at St. Augustine over half of these brave Scotchmen were mas- 
sacred by the Spaniards. They had not had an easy life in 
the Highlands, but their life in Georgia had been far harder, 
and so after this massacre many of the poorer members 
of the colony went elsewhere. Mr. John More Mcintosh 
and his immediate family remained, and as he was a man of 
substance and kept the storehouse of the colony and traded 
with the Indians, he was well-to-do. 

The settlers were in the main very poor peasants, only 
seventeen, accordmg to General Oglethorpe's Letters, being 
able to pay their way across the sea. Some of the immi- 
grants were, however, men of property and lairds of the 
clans from which most of the immigrants were recruited by 
Captain Mackay, and while many of the poorer members of 

22 The Story of Georgia [Chap. I. 

the colony became dissatisfied with New Inverness and 
joined the malcontents, these leading families sided with 
Mr. Oglethorpe's adherents and signed a document in which 
they indorsed him and his measures. This list is the only 
one of these first settlers I have been able to secure. These 
were John Mackintosh Moore, John Mackintosh, Roland 
McDonald, John McDonald, John MacLean, John Mcintosh, 
John Mcintosh Bain, James Mackay, Daniel Clark, Alex 
Clark, I. Burgess, D. Clark, Jr., A. McBain, Wm. Munroe, 
John Cuthbert. These are all the names of the first immi- 
grants I have been able to recover. These were Scotch 
without an admixture and most of them traders. At a later 
period there are found some English names among them. 

The remnant of the Highland company, who were dis- 
charged after the Spanish war ended, did not return to 
Darien but distributed themselves over the lower part of 
the colony. Some of them settled in St. John's parish and 
some of them in what are now Camden, Glynn and 
Mcintosh counties. 

The removal of the restriction to the use of negroes led 
to the opening by the wealthier part of the settlers of rice 
plantations, and when the first assembly was called in 1750 
John More IMcIntosh was a member from this section. In 
1775 among those who sympathized with the revolutionists 
there were Lachlan Mcintosh, Richard Cooper, George 
Threadcraft, Seth McCuUough, Charles McDonald, Isaac 
Hall, John Mcintosh, Thos. King, Raymond Demere, John 
Roland, Giles More, P. Shuttleworth, Joseph Slade, Samuel 
McClellan, Isaac Newsome, A. D. Cuthbert, John Wither- 
spoon, John Hall, John Fulton, John McCullough, Samuel 
Fulton, Peter Sallen, Isaac Cuthbert, James Clark, M. 
McCullough, Wm. McCullough, B. Shuttleworth, John 

Some of these first comers engaged in Indian trade and 
had their warehouses and trading-post in Florida, and their 

1732-1754.] AND THE GEORGIA TeOPLE. 23 

rice plantations on the river and their summer homes on 
the islands. Some of the descendants of these immigrants 
fixed their homes in Savannah and engaged in mercantile 

After the breaking up of the kirk in Darien and the de- 
parture of their minister, there does not seem for some 
years to have been any religious teacher among those who 
remained, but after the Church of England was established 
under Governor Ellis, there was likely occasional service held 
by an Episcopal missionary. The wealthy planters sent 
their children to Savannah and Charleston and Sunbury 
for education, and the poor grew up m ignorance. 

As we shall see in a future chapter, there was another 
body of Scotch Highlanders who came to Georgia at a later 
time, who came through North Carolina. 


The Germans who came with Mr. Oglethorpe on his first 
coming to the colony chose in their location a section of 
land in what is now Effingham county, and established a 
village which was called Ebenezer. The glowing descrip- 
tion of Mr. Van Reck, who was deputed to select the spot 
for their home, is so extravagant that one acquainted with 
the country finds it hard to understand how the good man 
could have seen so much and have been so deluded, and it 
was as disappointing to the honest Germans who settled it 
as it has been to the modern observer. 

The Salzburghers were a body of Austrian Protestants 
who had been exiled from the native hills and found a 
temporary refuge in Germany, and from thence a body of 
seventy-eight came to Dover, in England, from which place, 
at the expense of the society for the propagation of the 
gospel in foreign parts, they were transported free of charge 
to Georgia. They had with them their two pastors, Bolzius 
and Gronau. Their commissary, Van Reck, went with 

24 The Story of Georgia 

[Chap. I. 

Oglethorpe into the wilderness to find a home for them. 
It was in early March when the pine woods were in their 
fairest garb. 

Finding a spot in the wilderness of what he thought was 
matchless loveliness, he decided that was the place in which 
the weary exiles could find rest. "It was," he said, "be- 
tween two rivers which fell into the Savannah, a little rivulet 
with crystal water glided by the town, the woods are open, 
the air balmv, there are wide meadows, there is the cedar, 
the walnut, the pine, the cypress, the oak, the myrtle and 
the sassafras, the ground is fertile, and the woods full of 
game." This was the land the German dreamer found, but 
when the settlement was made it was found to be a barren 
waste, and after two years of effort to make it productive 
they found it would be necessary to remove to another spot. 
They found that nearer the river and settled the New 
Ebenezer. They were a very thrifty people and secured 
help not only from the trustees, but from their kinspeople 
and sympathizers across the seas, and in a few years they 
were in very comfortable circumstances. Their history was 
written some years ago by Mr. Strobel, the pastor of Eb- 
enezer, and is a very full and satisfactory account of them. 
These German immigrants were connected with the great 
Lutheran body, and they brought into Georgia and planted 
in its forests a German village. 

They soon had a school and a home for widows or orphans, 
and away from the temptations of city life they developed 
a model community. Mr. Strobel has given the foUowino- 
list of persons who belonged to the community in 1741: 

Messrs. Bolzius, Gronau, Rieser, Laub, Grewandel, Mamer, 
Kaigler, Zittreur, Runter, Rottenberger, Zubli, Ortman, 
Kulcher, Ramer, Reidelsparger, MoUer, Hertzog, Hessler, 
Pletter, Sigismund, Hernberger, Bruckner, Ott, Zettler, 
Tribner, Eischberger, Arnsdorf, Ruter, Brandner, Lumber- 
ger, Lackner, Steiner, Schwarzer, Schmidt, Crause, Gruber, 

1732-1754.] AND THE GEORGIA PEOPLE. 25 

Schutner, Lietner, Corberger, Grimnuiger, Bergshammer, 
Landseller, Ernst (Ernest), Rieser, Pickler, Spurlbergen, 
Niedlinger, Helfenstein, Rabenhorst, Lembke, Muhlenberg, 
Wertch, MuUer, Treutlen, Floerl, Wiesenbaker, Schubtrien, 
Kramer, Goldwire, Kraus, Beddenbach, Waldhauer, Pauler, 
Rahn, Helme, Remshart, Grau, Heil, Buchler, Hanleiter, 
Bollinger, McCay.Zimmerbuer, Oechele (Exley), Kimberger, 
Winkler, Witman, Dasher, Schrampa, Schwenger, Mohr, 
Liemberger, Buntz, Micheal, Beckley, Hausler, Gugel, 
Schremph, De Rosche, Moeler, Deppe, Metzger, Seckinger, 
Mack, Schneider, Schuele, Helfenstein, Freyermouth, Keifer, 
Tarringer, Pfluger, Meyer, Ditters, Rentz, Bergman. 

Those who examine this list will find names which have since 
been Anglicized and slightly changed, but they will find many 
unchanged which are still borne by Georgians. No people 
have been more noted for industry,, probity and intelligence. 
The little hamletthey founded, and which for so many years 
was the center of so much of interest to the Salzburghers, 
has long since ceased to be anything like even a village, 
but the church still stands and many of the descendants of 
these German refugees are still living. While the Pilgrim 
Fathers, who were a smaller number than these Salzburghers, 
have a high place in American history, this noble band of 
Austrian refugees has been almost lost to sight by the 
historian. They came to Georgia from their native Tyrol 
because of their devotion to Christian principle, and wherever 
their descendants are found the spirit which belonged to 
their fathers is manifested in them. 

This people resided in what was afterward the upper part 
of St. Matthew's parish. They had been accustomed to 
farmers' work in their native land and to live in a simple, 
frugal way, and receiving help both from the trustees and 
from their German coreligicnists across the seas, they had 
prospered from the first, and in 1754 their part of the colony 
received an accession by the coming of a body of German 

26 The Story of Georgia [Chap. i. 

Lutherans, not Salzburghers, who were brought into the 
colony by Captain De Brahm and settled at a place five miles 
north of Ebenezer. This colony increased very rapidly, and, 
according to Jones, the one hundred and fifty were multiplied 
tenfold in a little over a twelvemonth. This must, how- 
ever, be a mistake, as it is not all probable that fifteen hundred 
Germans came at that time. They settled a village called 
Bethany in what is now Screven county, and De Brahm says 
there were three hundred and twenty Germans who came.* 
There were, before the negroes were allowed, a small 
number of Germans who were brought over by the trustees, 
indentured for five years as servants, and in 1739 General 
Oglethorpe, in one of his letters to the trustees, mentions 
the coming of sixty-nine, who were distributed among the 
planters; but there was so little demand for them that there 
were several for whom homes could not be secured. There 
were in the number twelve marriageable females, who were 
taken by Mr. Bolzius to Ebenezer to furnish wives for the 
unmarried men.-j- Mr. Stephens mentions some German 
laborers who came with Captain Hewitt. It was a regular 
thing for the shipmasters coming to the American colonies 
to bring over a ship-load of young laborers, who were sold 
to the planters, and Virginia is not the only colony in 
which the wives of some of the planters were procured by 
paying the passage money across the seas. These last 
coming Germans evidently were absorbed by the already 
considerable bodies of their countrymen who were in the 


One of the objects of establishing the Georgia colony 
was to protect the more northern colonies from the aggres- 
sive Spaniards, who were in strong force in St. Augustine, 

* See De Brahm's account, Wormsloe ed. 

■j" Mr. Oglethorpe's Letters in Historical Collections. 

1732-1754.] AND THE GEORGIA PEOPLE. 27 

and General Oglethorpe on his first visit determined to 
establish a fort and build a city on St. Simons Island at 
the mouth of the Altamaha. On his second coming to 
Georgia he brought with him quite a number of emigrants 
whom he intended to locate on this beautiful island, where 
he had a military post. Colonel Jones, to whom Georgia 
is so greatly indebted for having recovered so much of lost 
history, gives an account of Frederica in his "Dead Towns 
of Georgia." It was located on St. Simons Island, oppo- 
site to where the city of Brunswick now is, and was called 
Frederica in honor of Frederick, the son of George II. 
The town was located near the beach, where there had 
been once an Indian town. It was settled by the emi- 
grants which Mr. Oglethorpe brought with him in his 
second coming to Georgia. The emigrants intended for it 
were landed at Savannah and reshipped in broad flat boats, 
which reached the bluff at St. Simons after six days of 
voyaging. The people found shelter from the March 
weather in booths made of the palmetto boughs. The city 
was laid out on forty acres of cleared land covered with 
grass sod. Around it was a beautiful forest of live-oaks, 
water-oaks, laurel, bay, cedar, sweet-gum, sassafras and pines. 
The muscadine and fox-grape and the fragrant yellow jessa- 
mine festooned the forest trees. The island abounded in 
deer, rabbits, raccoons, squirrels, wild turkeys, doves, red- 
birds, mocking-birds and great flocks of rice-birds. The 
marshes were crowded with wild geese, ducks, herons, cranes, 
plovers and marsh-hens, and the waters were filled with 
fishes of all kinds, crabs, shrimps and oysters. 

This is not an exaggerated statement of what was to 
be found on St. Simons and the islands contia^uous at that 
time. The island was said to be fertile and healthy, It 
was hard land to be cleared, and when the land was culti- 
vated it soon was apparent that those crops which were in- 

28 The Story of Georgia [Chap. I. i 

dispensable to an Englishman's or a German's comfort were 
not suitable to the climate and the soil. The settlers 
reached the island too late the year of their first coming to , 
do any farm work for that year, and before they could get 
fully settled the Spanish war was upon them. The money ; 
which came to the troops and for furnishing the supplies i 
necessary for the subsistence of the small army helped to ; 
build up the little city and make it prosperous for a time. 
It is evident that this new city was a favorite of General 
Oglethorpe. The only land he located in Georgia was on 
St. Simons, and here he spent the larger part of the time - 
he was in America. Up to the period when Oglethorpe 
returned to England Frederica prospered, but when peace 
came the town began to decline and soon ceased to be a 
place of any note at all. It afterward became the home of 
Mr. James Spalding, who carried on quite a trade with , 
the Creek and Seminole Indians. There was nothing in ; 
the location or its surroundings to give anything like per- | 
manent prosperity to it, and after its bright and vigorous in- ' 
fancy it declined constantly until there was nothing left of ; 
the second city of Georgia — not even the name. Mr. Bar- ! 
tram, the French botanist, who visited this country just be- i 
fore the Revolution, found only the ruins of what had once ; 
been the city, and when it was decided some years ago to ' 
take a picture of the live-oak under which John Wesley : 
and his brother Charles had preached, they found the oak \ 
still standing in magnificence, but no vestige of a living | 

being near-by. Frederica was truly a dead town. 



Before Mr. Oglethorpe came to Georgia there was a 
trading-post near what is now Hamburg, S. C, on the 
South Carolina side of the river called Fort Moore, and j 
Mr. Oglethorpe decided to build a fort on the Georgia side ! 
and orarrison it. This he did, and in honor of the Princess 



AND THE Georgia People. 29 

Augusta it was called by her name. In the pamphlet to 
which we have referred, by Wm. Stephens, there is the 
following list of Indian traders who had headquarters at 
Augusta. The names given are: Wood, Brown, Clark, 
Knott, Spencer, Barnett, Ladson, Mackey, Elsey, Facy, 
McQueen, Wright, Gardner, Andrews, Duvall, Cammell 
Randel, Chauncey, Newberry. 

There were beside these traders, living near the fort, 
Kennedy O'Brien, Frazer, Miller, Brown, a saddler, a tailor, 
William Clark, H. Overstreet, L. Bean, William Grey, 
William Calahan, McGilveray, Casson, Gilmore, Goodale, 
Ross, Galphin. 

On the east side of the Savannah, in South Carolina, 
where negroes were allowed, there were numbers of plan- 
tations opened, and the corn consumed by the large number 
of horses needed in the trade with the Indians was pro- 
duced there. 

These Indian traders sent out their men to the towns of 
the Chickasaws, Uchees, Creeks and Cherokees, and in the 
spring season great crowds of Indians came with their 
ponies loaded with peltry to trade at the post for powder 
and lead, and especially for rum. There was a mean rum 
known as tafia which was the main article of trafific. It 
was brought by Indian traders from the coast and traded 
for all kinds of products and for Indian slaves.* These 
slaves, taken by their enemies in war, were brought to Au- 
gusta and sold and carried to Charleston and shipped to 
the West Indies. The traders were oftentimes wretchedly 
dissolute. They lived shameless lives with the squaws, 
and when they grew weary of them went from them with- 
out hesitation. 

There was a large trading-post owned by Galphin in 
Ogeechee Town. This old Galphinton is ten miles south 

* See Logan's History of South Carolina, p. i8o and beyond, for a full account 
of this trafific. 

30 The Story of Gteorgia [Chap. i. 

of Louisville, on the Ogeechee river. George Galphin was 
a famous Indian trader, who had an elegant home at 
Silver Bluff and was recognized as a king by the various 
tribes. They brought all questions to him for settlement 
It was told of him that once a chief, attracted by the red 
coat Galphin wore, said to him one day: 

" Me had dream." 

" Oh!" said Galphin, " what was it ?" 

" Me dream you give me dat coat." 

" Then you shall have it," said the trader. 

A long time passed, when one day, when the chief was at 
the post, Galphin said: . - 

" Chief, I had a dream." 

" Ugh ! What you dream ?" 

" I dreamt you give me all the land in the fork of this 

" Well, you shall have it, but we dream no more." 

Augusta was not a place for a quiet residence in those 
wild days. Two thousand ponies owned by the traders 
were loaded with goods in Charleston and with peltry at the 
fort, and kept the now almost deserted old road to Charles- 
ton alive. As one now rides over the deep sands through 
which the old highway runs, he can bring before him the 
great train of Indian slaves doomed to a life worse than 
death, who had been bought and branded by the traders 
with a red-hot iron, and who were now to go in weary pro- 
cession from Augusta to Charleston. There were great 
fortunes made in this Indian slave-trade and in furnishing 
the Indians with rum and gunpowder ; and it was to pay the 
debts due George Galphin and other traders that Sir James 
Wright secured from the Indians their cession of Wilkes, 
Oglethorpe, Elbert and Lincoln counties. Augusta was 
not affected by the laws concerning negroes, and as far as 
rum was concerned it was the main article of trafifiic, but 



that rum was sold to the Indians, and the slaves she sold 
were captives secured in war. 

There may have been, and I think it likely there were, 
sundry settlers wh5 were scattered among the Indians and 
who had squatted on lands belonging to them ; and it is 
probable that Mr. Galphin had around his settlement at 
Galphinton some of his countrymen before Oglethorpe 
came, but I find no positive proof of it, and Colonel Jones 
puts the emigration of the Scotch-Irish to St. George's 
parish as late as 1768. I find that certainly as early as 
Governor Reynolds's grants in 1752 there were grants of 
land made to men whom I know were in Jefferson. 

General Oglethorpe had done his best to make a model 
colony, and though he left it in a sadly depressed condi- 
tion, it was not from any failure on his part to endure hard- 
ships or face danger. When he returned to England the 
trustees selected Mr. William Stephens, who had for some 
years been his secretary and the de facto governor. He 
was at one time a member of Parliament in England, and 
was a man of excellent family and good cultivation. He 
had been a servant of the trustees from his first coming to 
the colony, and was devoted to their interests. He had 
been virtually the governor of the Savannah part of the 
colony during Mr. Oglethorpe's stay, and after Mr. Ogle- 
thorpe's return to England he was in entire control of 

In 1749 there occurred the famous Bosomworth trouble, 
to which a ludicrous prominence has been given in the 
Georgia histories and in Hewitt's History of South Caro- 
lina, and a trifling affair has been magnified into an event 
of immense importance. Mary Bosomworth was a half- 
breed Creek woman, the daughter of a Scotch father. She 
had some education and spoke both the Creek and English 
languages. She had been employed by Mr. Oglethorpe as 
an interpreter. Having lost her first husband, Musgrove, 

32 The Story of Georgia [Chap. I. 

she had married a worthless fellow by the name of 
Mathews, who gave Governor Stephens much annoyance. 
When he died she married a scapegrace clergyman whose 
name was Bosomworth. She made some claims to back- 
pay due her as interpreter, and laid claims to some landed 
property and threatened the infant colony with her ven- 
geance if her claims were not allowed, and finally, with a 
small body of vagabond Indians, she came toward Savannah 
to enforce her demands. The few militia in the province, 
one hundred and seventy in all, under command of Cap- 
tain Noble Jones, met the Indians, who were two hundred 
in number, and disarmed them without any trouble; and 
eventually, after Mary, in her drunken rage, for she was 
a sad reprobate, forced Governor Stephens to lock her up, 
the Indians were all invited to the governor's house and 
took a glass together with the whites, and smoked the 
pipe of peace and went back to their wigwams.* Mary's 
claim was at last settled by Governor Ellis, and she secured 
some money and a grant to St. Catherine's Island, which 
was sold to Button Gwinnett. j- 

Governor Stephens was old and feeble and the burdens 
of his office were borne by his associates, Parker and Hab- 
ersham. He voluntarily, after a short incumbency, retired 
to his plantation near Savannah, where very suddenly he 
died. He wrote a copious Journal, often referred to by the 

* In Hewitt, McCall, Stevens and Jones there is substantially the same 
account. There were only two hundred Indians in all. They had no ammuni- 
tion and had not, in all likelihood, the slightest idea of doing any violence. 
The great army who saved the people from massacre were one hundred and 
seventy militia, under Captain Noble Jones. There was not a single drop of 
blood shed, and no threat or danger of a massacre. I am a little regretful 
that the brilliant rhetoric of Bishop Stevens, in giving account of this occur- 
rence, has so little to support it ; but he merely followed Hewitt, who was 
copied by McCall. The Journal of Mr. \Vm. Stephens gives the best ac- 
count of the whole affair. Colonel Jones has given all the facts with his 
accustomed accuracy. 

t See Stephens's account in his Journal. 


AND THE Georgia People. 


historians of Georgia, which was published in three vol- 
umes. This Journal was the first book written in Georgia, 
with the exception of the small collection of hymns pub- 
lished by John and Charles Wesley. 

The colony, as we have seen, was in a depressed condi- 
tion, and it was apparent to all on the ground that the 
chief cause of the state of things was the inability of the 

planters to secure cheap labor and the nature of the ten- 
ures of the granted land. Even Mr. Bolzius recognized 
that something was the matter, and James Habersham was 
requested by him to draw up a statement setting forth the 
condition of the colony and the cause of it, and Mr. Hab- 
ersham wrote an article in which he attributed the depres- 
sion to the prohibition of negro labor. 

This paper came into the hands of the trustees, and they, 
becoming convinced by it that the restriction was not a wise 

34 The Story of Georgia [Chap. L. 

one, decided that under certain conditions the colonists- 
might import negroes. They had not been led to prohibit 
slavery at the first from any moral considerations, but had 
been led to it by their opinion that it was best for the tem- 
poral interests of the colony. They were now convinced 
that they had been mistaken, and so they prescribed the- 
conditions under which the planters would be permitted 
to purchase and hold slaves. 

These conditions were: The slaves should not be iii' 
large numbers on any plantation. They should be enjoined 
and encouraged to marry; they should be forbidden to use 
profane language; they should not be sold without registry,. 
and should not learn any mechanical arts; they should not 
be worked on the Sabbath day, but should be compelled to 
go to church and be instructed by the Protestant ministry- 
Under these conditions the restriction against slave labor 
was removed. 

The law against the admission of rum had probably 
been disregarded for some time, and it was repealed, and 
the restriction concerning land tenure was removed and 
the property was to be held in fee. There was nothing 
now, save that Georgia was still governed by trustees, to 
distinguish the youngest of the colonies from her older 
sisters ; and this government by trustees was nearly at an 
end, for in 175 1 the trustees surrendered their charter to 
the crown and the colonial ofifice took the government of 
Georgia in hand. For two vears and nine months the old 
appointees held over, and Mr. Henry Parker and Sir 
John Graham were successively in charge of the gov- 

In 1754, however. Sir John Reynolds was duly appointed 
to the position of governor. 

In 1 75 1 the first Assembly met in Savannah. The 
members were Francis Harris, John Milledge, William 
Francis, VVm. Russell, Savannah ; Geo. Codagan, David 


AND THE Georgia People. 35 

Douglas, Augusta; Christian Riedelsperger, Theobald Kiefer, 
Ebenczcr ; Wm. Ewen, Abercorn ; Patrick Houston, Ver- 
nonsburg ; Peter Morel, Acton ; Jos. Summers, Little Ogee- 
chee ; Jno. Barnard, Skidaway ; Audley Maxwell, Midway; 
Jno. More Mackintosh, Darien.* 

The names of the places from which the delegates came 
give us some idea of how the population had moved and 
of the advance of the settlements into the interior. 

In taking a survey of the colony for these twenty years 
one cannot but be impressed with the elevated aims of its 
founders. The trustees doubtless made grave mistakes, 
and in endeavoring to do too much had failed to do what 
might have been done for the good of the colony; but 
their motives were of the highest kind, and, with the single 
exception of Mr. Causton, there seems to have been among 
the officers of the colony only men of probity and intel- 
ligence. Men like Wm. Stephens, Noble Jones, James 
Habersham, and ministers like Jno. and Charles Wesley, 
Geo. Whitfield, and Pastors Gronau and Bolzius would 
have ornamented any State. 

Up to the time the trustees surrendered their trust there 
had been granted in trust forty-one thousand acres, and 
sold outright twenty-seven thousand acres. The colony 
had been settled twenty years, and while it had had but 
little prosperity, it had had no disasters. There was no 
Indian massacre as in Virginia, no Indian war as in New 
England, no servile insurrection as in South Carolina, but it 
had by no means met the hopes of those who planted it. 
Perhaps no colony ever had a better class of first settlers. 
They were most of them quite poor, but so were the first 
settlers of Virginia and New England, the Huguenots and 
German emigrants to Pennsylvania. They were hampered 
at first by impracticable regulations, and many of them 
left the colony for South Carolina, but many remained 

* Jones. 

36 The Story of Georgia [Chap. I. 

in Georgia, and many of those who left the colony returned 
in an after time. These first settlers had none of the ca- 
lamities which befell the early settlers in the older col- 
onies, but there were all the discomforts of frontier life. 
There were no mills driven by wind or water, and 
the settlers were dependent for bread upon Indian corn 
which was beaten in a mortar or ground on a hand- 
mill. The houses out of the villages were of round logs, 
and sometimes of clapboards. The floors were of dirt, and 
the chimneys were made of clay and stakes. ' The settlers 
had no comforts, but there was generally a sufificiency of 
food. Turkeys were caught in pens and quails and rabbits 
in traps, and near the towns where ammunition could be 
easily secured the pot hunter provided ducks and wild 
geese and venison for the table. In a few years cattle 
were abundant and hogs in large numbers were raised on 
the acorns in the swamps. 

There was no wheat flour save what came from New 
. England, but soon after the settlements were made there 
were patches of rice. Even those planters who at this 
early date were considered well-to-do had few comforts, 
and even near the coast, where there was some shipping, 
living was plain, but away from it it was exceedingly hard. 

There was comparatively little difference in the style of 
living among the rural people, and there were but three 
small villages — Savannah, Augusta and Ebenezer. Fred- 
erica had been almost abandoned and Augusta was merely 
a trading-post. There were only a few settlers above 
Savannah or below Brunswick, and these were far from 

In the sketch of Savannah in a later chapter an account 
is given of the religious history of the colony — the found- 
ing of Bethesda and the growth of Ebenezer. There was 
but little attention paid to churches and schools during the 
time of the trustees, although there was a school in Savan- 

1732-1754.] AND THi! GeOROIA PeOPLE. 37 

nah and a tabernacle and a church and school in Ebenezer; 
but there were, so far as I can find, neither churches nor 
schools at the time when the trustees ^ave up their charge 
out of these villages. The Presbyterians had abandoned 
the colony, the Moravians had gone to Pennsylvania, and 
save at Bethesda and at Ebenezer there was little attention 
given to religious matters. 

38 The Story of Georgia [Chap. Ii. 



Governor Reynolds — Some of his Difficulties with the Colonists — Dr. Little — 
Clement Martin Removed from the Council — Governor Reynolds Asks to be 
Recalled— Georgia as it Appeared in his Time — The Dorchester Settlement — 
The English Emigration to Dorchester, Mass. — The Settlement of Dorchester, 
S. C. — Removal to Georgia — List of the First Patentees — Midway Church 
Built — Lyman Hall and Button Gwinnett — The Land Grants Made by Gov- 
ernor Reynolds — Slavery in the Colony — Native Africans — The Condition of 
the New Negroes — Laws for Regulation of the Slaves — Governor Ellis — His 
Administration — Church of England Established — Episcopal Churches in 
Georgia — The First Presbyterian Church — The Congregational — The Luthe- 
ran — The List of Parishes — Governer James Wright — The Capital Settled in 
Savannah — Governor Wright's First Assembly — Condition of Affairs in the 
Colony — Troubles Impending in Consequence of the Stamp Act — Collision 
between Governor Wright and the Assembly — The Newly Ceded Lands and 
the Middle Georgia People — General View of the Colony to 1774 — Mr. 
Whitfield's College Plan — The Moral Tone of the Colony — Sabbath Laws — 
Governor James Wright's Administration — Education in the Colony — Ad- 
vance of the Colony among the English, the Scotch, the Germans, in St. 
George's Parish, Augusta, and St. Paul's Parish — Social Changes — Relig- 
ious Movements — Baptists Enter the State. 

Authorities : McCall, Stevens, Jones, Georgia Historical Collections, White's 
Statistics, White's Historical Collections, Whitfield's Journal, Colonial Laws, 
Hewitt, Records in Secretary of State's Office, Bartram, De Brahm. 

Governor Reynolds, who came into his office in 1754, 
had been a captain in the British navy, and as a reward for 
his naval services he was made the first royal governor of 
the Georgia colony. He was officially designated as 
captain-general and governor-in-chief of his majesty's 
province in Georgia and vice-admiral of the same. 

He was received by the people of the colony with great 
enthusiasm and began his administration very promisingly. 
He selected an able council consistinor of the leadins: men 

1754-1775.] AND THE GEORGIA PeOPLE. 39 

in the colony. They were Sir Patrick Houston, Patrick 
Grahame, James Habersham, Noble Jones, Pickering Rob- 
inson, Francis Harris, Alex Kellett, Jonathan Bryan, Wm. 
Russell, Wm. Clifton and Clement Martin, Sr. 

The bluff old sailor found things in a rather cheerless 
condition and was evidently greatly disappointed in the 
outlook. Savannah was not a well-built city, as he ex- 
pected to iind it, but a dilapidated village; and the govern- 
orship of a province in which there was not five thousand 
people, and whose most important public building was a 
board tabernacle, was not a place to be coveted. He 
began, however, to do some very needful things. He 
organized the courts and ordered all previous grants of 
land recalled, and proposed to issue new patents. He 
called the Assembly together, but soon found he had some 
troublesome men in it. One of these was Edmond Gray, 
a Quaker from St. Paul's parish. Gray, in connection with 
Farmer, Mcintosh and Carr, issued a call for the people of 
the colony who valued their liberty to appear as soon as 
possible at Savannah. This Governor Reynolds thought 
was open rebellion, and as such denounced it. What led 
to the call of Gray we do not know, but we can conjecture 
it was to protest against the proposed measure of Governor 
Reynolds to recall the grants of land hitherto made and 
issue new warrants upon new conditions. These conditions 
were so hard that the entire Assembly united in a success- 
ful petition to the king for a negation of them, and the 
governor reluctantly withdrew them. 

Edmond Gray, of whom we know too little, went after- 
ward to the neutral ground south of Darien, and was vis- 
ited by Governor Ellis at his home. Governor Ellis speaks 
of him kindly, and says he was a man of remarkable abil- 
ity but had no common sense. 

There was perhaps not a man in Governor Reynolds's 
council who did not know better than he did how to orovern 

40 The Story of Georgia [Chap. ll. 

the Georgia colony, for every one of them, and they were 
superior men, knew the condition of things in the colony 
as Governor Reynolds could not have possibly known 
it; but the blustering old sea captain, who knew noth- 
ing of the conditions about him, and who, in addition to 
his own incompetency, was under the control of his pri- 
vate secretary. Dr. Little, another newcomer who was 
thoroughly detested by all of the council, treated their 
suggestions with contempt, and was not even satisfied when 
they expelled Mr. Carr and Mr. Gray and Mr. Farmer 
from the Assembly, but dismissed Mr. Clement Martin 
from the council and was generally offensive. 

There was no easy time for the captain-general and com- 
mander-in-chief in the new colony. His salary was small, 
his expenses were heavy, and the home government was 
not disposed to make further grants to a colony which 
made so poor a return. 

The Assembly was impertinent, if not rebellious, the 
council was as bad, and so, as matters did not improve when 
he had spent two years of a troublous kind in the province, 
and had done some hard work, he asked relief, and went 
back to England to his congenial place on the quarter-deck 
once more.* 

The colonists had not been pleased with Governor Rey- 
nolds, and he fretted at the idea of being an exile to a 
small American town, so there was mutual pleasure at the 
separation. He said there were only one hundred and fifty 
houses in Savannah; the biggest of them was used for the 
meeting of the president and council; " but one end fell 
down whilst we were there, and obliged us to move to a 
kind of shed behind the court-house which was quite 
unfit. I have given orders, with the advice of the council, 
to fit up a shell of a house which was lately built as far as 
the laying of the sills, but never made use of. The prison 

* Stephens and Jones. 

1754-1775.] AND TJIE GEORGIA PeOPLE. 41 

was an insecure structure, which I ordered to be strength- 
ened with bolts and bars." 

Captain De Brahm, who came during Governor Stephens's 
last incumbency, confirms the governor's story. He says 
he could have bought the best improved lot in Savannah 
for a few pounds, and somewhat complacently intimates 
that if he had not come when he did the colony would 
have been deserted. 

Governor Reynolds, however, did much good work. He 
organized the courts and put the government machinery 
into operation. He was governor in a very important day 
for Georgia, for the opening wide the gates to new settlers 
brought in the first American immigrants to the colony, 
except the few settlers who had come from lower South 
Carolina into the country below Savannah. There were 
the Virginians and North Carolinians, who came near this 
time to St. George's parish, then including all of Burke, 
Jefferson, and a large part of Screven county. In my 
sketches of these counties I have given a fuller account of 
these settlers than I can give here. They were numerous 
enough to send a representative from Halifax to the first 
Assembly called by Governor Reynolds, and when the 
parishes were laid off by Governor Ellis, to call for a 
special parish known as St. George's. A body of Quakers, 
before 1754, had settled some lands on Little river at a 
place which was called Blendon. It was in St. Paul's 
parish, on Little river, and was near the spot where 
Wrightsboro was afterward located. These Quakers were 
led by the Edmond Gray who became so obnoxious to 
Governor Reynolds. The Indians, however, menaced the 
peace-loving Quakers and they decided to abandon the 
settlement. The project was however revived during the 
time of Governor Wright, under the care of Joseph Mat- 
tock and Jona Sells, and a road joining the Savannah road, 
in St. George's parish, known still as the Quaker road, was 

42 The Story of Georgia [Chap. Tl. 

cut at that time. There is near Wrightsboro a Quaker 
graveyard, but the Quaker settlement was abandoned 
during the Revolution. 

While Jones, who is remarkably accurate, puts the settle- 
ment of the Scotch-Irish on the Ogeechee as late as 1768, 
I am sure there were many of these people in St. George's 
parish as early as the days of Governor Reynolds. Some 
who were associated with Galphin in the Indian trade were 
doubtless in the Nation before Oglethorpe came ; but after 
the country was fairly opened and all restrictions on land- 
holders had been removed, the tide of settlement from the 
north of Ireland set in very rapidly. The same class of 
Scotch-Irishmen who came to Pennsylvania, to Virginia and 
to the Carolinas came to Georgia and made quite a settle- 
ment. Captain De Brahm says that there were two hun- 
dred families in this section of the colony when his account 
was written, and, as will be seen by examining the list of 
land-patents, there were a large number who are registered 
as having received grants of land before 176S, whom one 
recognizes as being the progenitors of families who were 
afterward prominent in Jefferson, Screven and Burke coun- 
ties, and a Mr. Edward Brown, Andrew and James Lam- 
bert, Arthur Thomas, Jacob Depford and Solomon Kempe 
had a settlement on the Ogeechee as early as 1756, in what 
is now Jefferson and Screven counties. 

The little hamlet about Fort Augusta continued to grow, 
and there was now at the fort a considerable villacre of loaf 
huts, and hundreds of Indians came to it on trading expe- 
ditions every season, bringing peltry and slaves and ponies, 
and buying rum and ammunition and Indian guns. 

These traders, of whom we spoke in the last chapter, 
were now quite numerous and had posts in various parts of 
the nations, and, whether among Creeks or Cherokees or 
Choctaws, they took to themselves Indian wives, generally 
the daughters of the chiefs, and in after time their children 


AND THE Georgia People. 


by these Indian squaws were chiefs of the tribes, and the 
Adairs, Rosses, Mclntoshes, McGilverays, and many others 
had their descendants among the Indians, much to the grief 
of the white man. Nor were they alone, but Englishmen 
of high birth left the homes of the white people and mar- 
ried, lived and died among the Indians, and their children 
"led in many a foray against the white invaders in after 

Major Ridge (Indian). 

time. To these must be added not a few Virginians who 
were traders. 

The settled portion of the colony, if any could be called 
settled at that early day, was confined to a narrow strip 
stretching along the Savannah, the Ogeechee and the Alta- 
maha rivers, and on the lands near the coast. The recog- 
nized western boundary of the white settlement was the 
Ogeechee. The section east of this river was slowly filling 
up with white people, but beyond the Ogeechee river, save 
a few small and scattered Creek and Chickasaw towns, all 
was an Indian hunting-ground. The Cherokees occupied, 

44 The Story of Georgia [Chap. II. 

without any one disturbing them, the northern and north- 
western part of the State, but they had their principal 
towns in East Tennessee. The Spanish gold-digger, under 
De Soto, had traversed their country in search of gold, 
and had left a record of his stay in the pits he had dug, 
but other than these no whites had as yet disturbed the 
dusky denizens of these valleys. 

Hitherto our attention has been directed to those settlers 
who came from over the sea, but now we are to speak of a 
colony of native Americans, who were to do much for 
Georgia and to have a great influence on her future historv- 
During the time when Governor Stephens held over, and 
before Governor Reynolds reached Savannah, the Dorches- 
ter settlement, in what was afterwards St. John's parish, 
was made. 

Captain De Brahm, a German engineer who made the 
first map of the colony and brought over the German 
emigrants, came to the colony at that time, and says he 
induced these settlers to come. 

In Plymouth, England, in the heat of the persecution of 
the Puritans by Archbishop Laud about 1630, a colony of 
Church of England people, weary of bishops and of litur- 
gies, resolved to emigrate to then just settled New England. 
This they did and fixed their home at Dorchester, Mass. 
They accepted the Congregational form of government they 
found there, and became a Congregational church, with a 
Calvinistic confession. Fifty years after this they found 
themselves cramped for land, and as South Carolina had 
been settled largely b}' those who sympathized with their 
religious and political views, they secured a large grant of 
land on the Ashley river and planted a colony there, which 
they called Dorchester also. Here they planted rice and 
became large slaveholders. 

They received an addition to their number from Virginia. 
The rice country about them was not sufficient for their 


1754-1775.] AND THE GEORGIA PeOPLE. 45 

needs, and as soon as Georgia allowed the planters to bring 
slaves into the colony they sent over some of their congre- 
gation to survey the land. There were some extensive 
swamps between Savannah and Darien, in what is now 
known as the swamp land of Liberty county. They were 
admirably adapted to the growth of rice, but, save to a rice- 
planter accustomed to malarial swamps, certainly uninvit- 
ing. The Dorchester people succeeded in getting grants from 
the colonial government which covered over thirty thousand 
acres of this fertile country. They did not at once remove, 
but, remaining a part of the year in South Carolina, they 
came to Georgia after their crop was made and opened 
land and built shelters until the}^ were ready to change 
their habitations. 

These immigrants fixed their homes on the edge of the 
swamps, building their humble cabins in the very center of 
the malarious district. The heavy timber was cleared away, 
the swamps were ditched and the dams made, and they 
moved their families and the cultivation of rice began. 
The only tool used in culture after the land was cleared, 
says Colonel Jones, was the hoe, and the rice was brought 
from the field on the head of the negroes and cleaned from 
the husks with pestle and mortar. Corn was ground in 
hand-mills. The market was Savannah, to which the rough 
rice was shipped by coasting schooners. The colony pros- 
pered and was soon quite populous. We give here a list of 
persons who received grants of five hundred acres : John 
Davis, John Maxwell, James Maxwell, William Maxwell, 
John Stevens, Benjamin Baker, John Lupton, Rev. Mr. Os- 
good, Samuel Stephens, Sarah Norman, Daniel Slade, Ed- 
ward Sumner, Andrew Way, Richard Spencer, William 
Brumley, Sarah Osgood, Rich Giraudeau, Joseph Bacon, 
Jonathan Bacon, John Norman, Sarah Mitchell, John Ed- 
wards, John Ellrod, John Way, William Graves, James Nor- 
man, John Stewart, Samuel James, Robert Glass, Robert 

46 The Story of Georgia [Chap. it. 

Eccles, John Quarterman, David Ross, William Lupton, 
Richard Baker, John Stevens, Joseph Oswald, Jacob Wes- 
ton, Joshua Clarke, A. Gleve, William Mackay, David Fox, 
Willoughby West, Palmer Gaulding, William Russell, Par- 
menus Way, Jacob Riden, Benjamin Andrew, and James 

It was decided by them to establish a market town nearer 
to the colony than Savannah, and in 1758 the town of Sun- 
bury, on the western bank of Medway river, was laid out. 
Colonel Jones, who gives a history of the dead towns of 
Georgia, gives not only a plot of the young city but a list 
of the lot-holders, which is interesting as showing who re- 
sided in this county at that time. They were: Mark Carr, 
Grey Elliott, Francis Arthur, William Graves, John Cub- 
bege, James Maxwell, Mary Spivey, Samuel Bennerworth, 
Stephen Dickerson, James Fisher, Schmidt & Molich, Swin- 
ton & Co., Darling & Munro, Thomas Peacock, A. Darling, 
Thomas Young, Roger Kelsal, John James, John Bacon, 
John Stewart, John Lupton, Dunbar, Young & Co., James 
Dunham, Lyman Hall, Samuel Miller, Kenneth Bailey, 
Samuel Benniworth, William Stevenson, Tabitha Bacon, 
John Winn, David Jcrray, Francis Arthur, John Steward, 
John Lawson, Thomas Ralph, John Quarterman, Thomas 
Goldsmith, James Houston, Ivan Stevens, William Baker, 
Elijah Simmons, Robert Bolton, John Humphrey, Francis 
Guilland, Henry Saltus, Donald McKay, Stephen Dicken- 
son, James Hurley, Francis Lee, John Quarterman, James 
Dovvell, John Irvine, Jemima Irvine, Math Smallwood, 
William Peacock, John Osgood, Rebecca Way, Hugh Clark, 
Paris Way, Nath Yates, William Dunham, Charles West, 
Samuel West, Thomas Carter, Audley Maxwell, John 
Graves, John Baker, James Fisher, Jno. Elliot, Jno. Lyman, 
John Sutherland, Sam Jeanes, Joseph Tichenor, William 
Mullen, William Davis, James Sergeant, John Jones, Strong 
Ashmore, F. Arthur, George Morris, Joshua Snowden, 

1754-1775.] '"^ND THE Georgia People. 47 

James Andrew. Samuel Morcock, George Bodington, Mary 
Bateman, Patrick McKay, Benjamin Andrew, Marmaduke 
Gerry, John Winn, Richard Mills, James Hatcher, John 
Perkins, William Low, Barnard Romans, Ed Mahonc, R. 
Spencer, John Mitchell, Morgan Tabb, Joseph Watcher, 
Jno. Gasper Stirkey, John Jones, Joseph Richardson, Robert 
Smallwood, John Futes, Arthur Carney, Isaac Linder, Fred- 
erick Holsendorf. 

The first thing these good people did after fixing their 
homes was to build them a log church in the. midst of their 
plantations. This church was succeeded by a better one, 
which was burned during the Revolution, and that by a still 
better one. For many years the Midway church with its 
chapels, first at Sunbury, then at Walthourville, commanded 
the best talent of the Presbyterian Church, and the congre- 
gation was large, wealthy, and intelligent, but after the last 
war reluctantly the church was given up by the whites and 
is now occupied by the negroes. 

The Rev. Mr. Osgood, for whom Bishop James Osgood 
Andrew was named, was the pastor they brought with them 
from South Carolina. Like his parishioners, he was a 
planter and a man evidently of some estate. He was virtu- 
ally a Presbyterian, and after Mr. McLeod, who only re- 
mained a little while in Georgia, was the first Presbyterian 
minister who had a charge in Georgia; for while Midway 
was a Congregational church during almost its entire his- 
tory, the pastoral office was filled by Presbyterian minis- 
ters, with whom the Congregationalists of an early day in 
America were always in accord. 

It was to be expected that the Puritans of Dorchester 
would sympathize with their New England kinsmen in their 
resistance to the course of the English government, and 
they were in advance of all others in Georgia in their spirit 
of rebellion. They were represented in every public move- 
ment in Savannah, and sent hundreds of barrels of rice to 


The Story of Georgia 

[Chap. IL 

the poor in Boston, and when the convention failed to send 
delegates to the Constitutional Congress the parish of St. 
John sent Dr. Lyman Hall as its representative. Two 
signers of the Declaration — Lyman Hall and Button Gwin- 
nett — were both from this parish, though Mr. Gwinnett was 
not a member of the Dorchester colony. 

The list of grantees as I have given it is necessarily very 
imperfect, and is confined to those who received grants of 
five hundred acres. The list of those receiving grants 

Button Gwinnett. 

from the State published in the appendix will give many ■ 
more than those mentioned above, while the memorandum ' 
of those who had lots in Sunbury will give a still clearer 
idea of the people who composed this colony when it was ; 
in its infanc}'. j|| 

As slavery was now legalized in the colony the Assembly I 
passed sundry laws with reference to the treatment of 
slaves. It must be remembered that the larger part of the 
slaves were savages direct from Africa. They had been 
captured by their own countrymen in the cruel wars the 
tribes waged with each other, and driven like cattle to the 

17r)4-1775.] AND THE GEORGIA 1'EOPLE. 49 

west African ports, where they had been sold to the Por- 
tuguese and English traders. They had no idea of 
honesty, no feeling of pity to a foe, no conception of sex- 
ual purity or marital fidelity. They could not speak the 
language of the people who owned them and understood 
nothing of what was said to them except a few plain com- 
mands. Accustomed to nakedness and hunsfer in their 
own land, they found the regular supply of rice and pota- 
toes and the scanty apparel furnished by the rice-planters 
a great advance beyond all they had in negro-land. 
Slavery was permitted everywhere at that time and was 
condemned by none, not even the Quakers. The slavery, 
however, which was to be allowed in the colonies was by 
no means Roman or Grecian or African slavery, for the 
control of the slave was restricted by law, and the slave 
was carefully protected from all bodily harm. The acts 
passed provided : i. That the slave should not leave his 
place without a written permit. 2. Unusual assemblages 
of slaves were to be dispersed. 3. If he was guilty of a 
capital crime he should be tried by two justices and pun- 
ished with death. 4. A justice and two freeholders were 
a suf^cient court for ordinary offenses. 5. Arson should 
be punished with death. 6. Stealing a slave or effacing 
his brand should be a felony. 7. If a slave was con- 
demned to death the colony should pay his value to his 
owner, but not more than fifty pounds. 8. No slave should 
carry firearms. 9. If a slave struck a white man he 
should be punished. If he struck him the third time he 
should be put to death. Cruelty to slaves was forbidden. 
If any one should wilfully murder his slave he should be 
adjudged guilty of a felony, with the benefit of the clergy, 
for the first offense ; but if he did it the second time he 
should be deemed guilty of a murtlier. 10. If he should 
kill a slave in heat he should forfeit fifty pounds. 11. If 

50 The Story of Georgia [Chap. ii. 

he should maim him or cruelly maltreat him, he should 
forfeit ten pounds. 12. If he did not give him sufficient 
food and clothing he should be fined. 13. If an owner 
was charged with inhuman conduct, he should be presumed 
to be guilty, unless he showed his innocence. No one 
could have a plantation occupied entirely by slaves. 

Governor Reynolds was succeeded by the scholarly and 
considerate Governor Ellis. Governor Ellis made aa 
honest and successful effort to conciliate the offended col- 
onists and to secure peace to all the colony. The Assem- 
bly, which had been called by Governor Reynolds, was by^ 
no means a representative body, and those who were eligi- 
ble to seats in it were by the restrictions laid down reduced 
to a very few. 

The Assembly called by Governor Ellis met and estab- 
lished the Church of England and divided the colony into 
parishes. The administration of Governor Ellis was une- 
ventful and unimportant. He left the colony after a short 
stay in it and went back to England, carrying with him 
good wishes to all the colonists and a holy horror of 
the hot summers in Savannah. The most important and 
really the only notable act of his administration was the- 
establishment of the Church of England and the division 
of the State into parishes. There was in Georgia at that 
time Christ Church, in Savannah ; St. Paul's Church, in 
Augusta ; St. George's, a log church, in Burke county ; a. 
Lutheran Church, in Ebenezer ; a Congregational in 
Liberty county; and these were all the churches from above 
Augusta to Amelia Island. There was the rector of Christ 
Church in Savannah, and a missionary sent out by the 
Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign parts, 
Mr. Jonathan Copp, whose home was in Augusta. 
These were the only Episcopal ministers in the colon)^ 
Mr. Osgood was the only Congregationalist and Mr. Bedge- 
wood the only Baptist, and he had no organized church to- 

1754 177.") ] AND THE GEORGIA PEOPLE. 51 

serve. The Lutherans had two pastors, Mr. Bolzius and 
Mr. Gronau, but they preached only in German. The 
Lutherans built them a small church in Savannah, which 
was supplied by these Ebenezer pastors. 

There seems to have been little opposition to the estab- 
lishment of the Church, and it was after all a mere form of 
church establishment. It was abandoned in twenty years, 
and did not exist long enough to accomplish any noticeable 

The parishes were: Christ Church, which included all of 
Chatham and the islands adjacent. 

St. Matthew's, which included all of Effingham and 
much of Screven. 

St. George's, all of Burke, Jefferson, and a part of 

St. Paul's, all of Richmond, Columbia, McDuffie, and a 
part of Warren. 

St. John's, all of Liberty. 

St. Andrew's, all the section south of the Altamaha, 
near Darien. 

St. Philip's, the section on the south side of the Ogeechee, 
west of Liberty. 

St. James's, Frederica and the county south of it to the 
disputed line. 

In 1765 four new parishes, St. Patrick's, St. David's, St. 
Thomas's and St. Mary's, were laid out in the section south 
of the Altamaha, and now contained in Camden, Charlton, 
and the adjoining counties. These parishes were not really 
organized, and were such in name only. 

There was a feeble effort to build a church in each of 
these parishes, but save the log church in Augusta and in 
St. George's parish I can find no evidence that any others 
were built. 

Governor James Wright, who succeeded Governor Ellis, 
was by far the ablest man who had ever been governor of 


The Story of Georgia 

[Chap. II. 


fhc State was laid off Into 8 pArlshM 
In 1T58, viz.: St. Paul, Si Grorgt, St. 
Matthew. CtiriM Chorct). St. Pbllip. St. 
John. St. Andrew and Sl Jamei. Four 
others were added In 176;. viz.: St. David, 
St. Patrick, St_/rhoma» ti»<J i)t. ^taryi. 

This excellent map was originally prepared under the direction of the University Publish- 
ing Co., who published Evans's Historj', and was transferred from their book to the pages 
of the Constitution, which has kindly furnished it to me. G. G. Smith. 

1754-1775 ] AND THE GEORGIA 1'eoPLE. 53 

Georgia, and he has had no superior in that office since 
his day. 

He was a South Carolinian by birth, and was a gentle- 
man of fine culture. He was a lawyer, as his father, Chief 
Justice Wright of South Carolina, had been before him. 
At the time he received his appointment as governor he 
was colonial agent ot Georgia in London. He was a man 
of large estate and great purity of character. He had a 
strong will and great common sense. The question of 
removing the capital from Savannah to the new city of 
Hardwick, which had been settled by Governor Reynolds 
and Governor Ellis against Savannah, he reopened and de- 
cided that the capital should remain where it was and 
where it had been in Savannah, and the scheme of the new 
city was abandoned. 

Governor Wright found the civil government well organ- 
ized. The difficulties arising from the impracticable meas- 
ures of the trustees had now been removed, and there was 
a prospect of a prosperous and peaceful rule. He sur- 
rounded himself with a wise council and made himself fully 
acquainted with all the needs of the growing colony. The 
Indians had given some little trouble to the frontier people, 
but in the main were peaceful. He called the Assembly 
together in Savannah. It consisted of: Jos. Ottalenghe, 
Grey Elliot, Lewis Johnson, Jos. Gibbons, Christ Church; 
Wm. Francis, N. W. Jones, Abercorn; Wm. Ewen, James 
De Vaux, Ebenezer; Alex Wylly, Halifax, James White- 
field, St. George's; Edward Barnard, John Graham, 

Williams, Lachlin McGilveray, St. Paul's; Elisha Butler, 
John Maxwell, Great Ogeechee; Thomas Carter, Parmenus 
Way, John Winn, St. John's; Robert Baillie, Jno. Holmes, 
St. Andrew's ; Lachlin Mcintosh, St. James's. 

As will appear, the members of the Assembly did not 
always reside in the parishes which they represented. Hali- 
fax, in St. George's, a comparatively new section in what is 

54 The Story of Georgia [Chap. ii. 

now Burke and Screven, was represented by Alex Wylly, 
of Christ Church, and Wm. Ewen and James De Vaux rep- 
resented Ebenezer; while John Holmes, the Episcopal 
minister, represented St. Andrew's. 

The Assembly seems to have been a harmonious body of 
able and intelligent men. The colony was now prospering. 
The wild schemes of raising silk and wine had been sur- 
rendered. The restrictions on land holdings and on slaverv 
were given up and everything promised well for the future. 

Shortly after Governor Wright began his career as gov- 
ernor, the governors of Georgia, South Carolina, North 
Carolina and Virginia met in Augusta and secured a cession 
of lands, and ten years after he purchased another body. 
As these two cessions were only ten years apart, and the 
sections purchased were contiguous, it is hardly necessary 
to consider them separately. The country first secured lay 
in the oak and hickory lands north of Augusta, in what is 
now Columbia county, and extended westward to what is 
now the west boundary of McDuffie county; in the second 
purchase m 1773 a body of land very much like this was 
also secured in what was afterward Wilkes county. This 
country was wonderfully beautiful and attractive. The 
land was mainly of two kinds, the oak and hickory lands 
and what was then known as the pine-barrens. There were 
no Indian settlements of importance in the section, and it 
was reserved by them as a hunting-ground. The first 
comers regarded the pine woods as uninhabitable, and set- 
tled along the creeks and rivers of the red lands. The In- 
dians came annually in large hunting parties to kill the 
game which was in such abundance, and every winter they 
burned the woods to provide for the growth of the wild 

There had doubtless been some intruders on these lands, 
and no doubt horses and cattle were being raised on the 
range by South Carolina ranchmen and Indian traders. 


AND THE Georgia People. 


There had been an effort to settle a colony on Little river 
in this section ten years before, but as we have seen it was 
broken up by the Indians. Now that this land was secured, 
and the Indians pacified, it was opened to settlement on 






most liberal terms. Any one who would file before a mag- 
istrate his purpose to settle in the land could get one hun- 
dred acres if he was single, two hundred if he was married, 
and an additional fifty acres for each child and each slave 
until five hundred acres were secured, at a nominal rental 

56 The Story of Georgia [Chap. ii. 

of two shillings a hundred acres. The offers of free farms 
were so generous that the tide of settlers poured in with 
great volume and covered the country. These people came 
from Virginia, North Carolina and Maryland, and settled 
on the banks of the Savannah river, the Kiokee creeks and 
Little river. In a study of the counties I have given a 
fuller account of the country and of the people. The tide 
of prosperity was rapidly rising. 

When the Stamp Act troubles began there was but little 
excitement in Georgia outside of Savannah and Sunbury. 
In Savannah the young men paraded and burned in effigy 
obnoxious persons. The governor was furiously indignant, 
and in loud yet vain proclamation denounced the acts of 
the seditious. 

The Liberty Boys were organized and the governor 
ordered out his little army of fifty-four men to take the 
stamps to the guard-house. The stamp-distributer came, 
and the intrepid governor protected him as well as he 
could, but he found himself unable to do so perfectly, and 
the English officer left the town. Governor Wright was 
menaced and the good and loyal James Habersham threat- 
ened also. Mobs gathered, a collision seemed imminent, 
but no further harm came than the burning of the governor 
in effigy. The stamps were in Savannah, but the people 
would not use them ; though much to the indignation of 
the sister colony. South Carolina, the governor did use 
them on the clearance papers of the seventy sail in port 
at that time. The governor had barely held his own when 
the Stamp Act was repealed, much to his relief. But it 
was only a temporary lull. The Assembly refused to grant 
supplies to the soldiers quartered among the people. The 
Assembly appointed a new London agent, which the gov- 
ernor denied their right to do, and thus the contest between 
him and his Legislature grew more violent. Then the 
Assembly wished to issue twenty thousand pounds paper 


AND THE Georgia People. 


money. The governor thought twelve thousand pounds 
sufficient, and the king agreed with the governor. The 
Assembly passed an act for the government of the negroes; 
the governor approved it, but the king vetoed it. The 
colony was in a bad humor with the whole British gov- 
ernment, and when Benjamin Franklin went to England 
to attend to the affairs of other colonies, Georgia appointed 
him to attend to her interests too, much to the disgust of 
the governor, who had but little use for the Pennsylvania 
printer. Then the Massachusetts colony sent out a circular 

Benjamin Franklin. 

letter, and Mr. Alexander Wylly, the speaker, replied to it, 
approving its contents. When the Assembly met, although 
the governor expressed his disapproval of the circular, the 
Assembly passed resolutions of approval. The governor 
was very much angered at this procedure and, coming in, 
dissolved the Assembly. 

The Assembly, now at open war with the governor, had 
sent an address to Dr. Franklin to be delivered to the king, 
which address the king refused to receive. 

Then the merchants and planters began to hold meet- 


The Story of Georgia 

[Chak ;i. 

ings, and even Mr. Jonathan Bryan, one of the council, 
presided over their meetings; and Mr. Alexander Creigh- 
ton introduced a resolution forbidding any importation of 
taxed products. The king promptly displaced Mr. Bryan, 
and twice the governor dissolved the rebellious Assembly. 
When this body met again in 1770 Dr. Noble Wimberly 
Jones was elected speaker. This was a gross affront to the 
governor, who had little use for the rebellious doctor, and 

Dr. Noble Wimberly Jones. 

he ordered a new election. The Assembly held it and re- 
elected Dr. Jones, and as they would elect no one else the 
governor sent them home. 

Then Sir James gladly took a respite from this incessant 
fight with his Assembly and went on a visit to England, and 
James Habersham took his place for the time being. Mr. 
Habersham was a man of remarkable probity, and while he 
sympathized with the colony to a great extent, he was 
loyal to the crown. The Assembly was composed of men 
with whom he had been associated from their first coming 


AND THE Georgia People. 59 

into the colony. He had been in the colony for nearly 
forty years, he had stood by it in all its struggles, he de- 
plored this conflict of opinion and sympathized with the 
colonists, but his duty was plain, and when the members 
persisted in electing Dr. Jones he promptly dissolved the 
Assembly. Then there was for a time quiet, and colonists 
continued to flock into the new lands on Little river and 
the Ogeechee. 

There was no fairer land in Georgia than the lands in St. 
George's and St. Paul's parishes, which vyere now open to 
settlers. Along the clear streams, for as yet they were as 
crystal, there stretched great bodies of cane in which the 
bear found his home, and on the rich wild grasses the 
myriad of deer fed. The hills were covered with a mag- 
nificent forest. The undergrowth had been kept down by 
the Indians, who burned the woods annually that the 
grasses might flourish. The forests were like a king's park. 
Herds of deer, droves of turkeys, and great flocks of 
rich-hued birds were found in every part of the land. The 
cattle needed no pasturage that the woods did not furnish. 
There were thousands of streamlets and springs, and when 
the land was opened there was a rich reward to the tiller's 
toil. It was no wonder then that, as soon as the land 
was offered to the settlers, they came in such numbers. 
Life with them was at first hard. There were no roads, 
and they came with their small supply of needful things 
on pack-horses. They built their cabins of round logs 
and covered them with split boards. At the first the floor 
was of packed clay, and the great chimney, with its wide 
hearth, was made of clay and stakes. There were no 
glazed windows and the door was made of split boards. 
Oftentimes there had not been a single nail used in building 
the cabin. The saw and axe and auger and frow had been 
the only tools. There was a scant supply of furniture, 
and it had been made mainly by hand ; a three-legged 

60 The SStory of Georgia [Chap. II. 

stool, a puncheon bench, and, after the chair-maker came, a 
stout chair of hickory, with a raw-hide seat, were the con- 
veniences. The bedsteads were made by hand, and the 
cattail and the long moss, and sometimes the leaves and 
pine straw, provided a couch for the sleepers. 

The frontiersman had no easy time in providing food 
supplies. A few cattle he brought with him. Deer were 
abundant, and he killed an occasional bear, while wild 
turkeys were so plentiful that they were caught in pens and 
their flesh was dried and used as bread. 

^•iJV-'--.<. • j':-'k?a.:'.^>^*-^*^ 

Early Settler's Cabin. 

There were some goods to be bought in Augusta at the 
stores of the traders, but there was little money on the 
frontier. By carrying peltry to the markets he secured 
powder and lead and salt. This was the condition of 
thinsfs on the frontier, but on the coast there was access to 
markets, and even at this early period comforts were com- 
mon, and in the cities there was much elegance and many 

The new immigration was very large. The first comers 
had reported so favorably of the land that great crowds of 
immigrants came from the older counties of Virginia and 


AND THE Georgia People. 


from middle and eastern North Carolina into St. Paul's, St. 
George's and St. Matthew's parishes. Many Scotch-Irish- 
men came directly from Ireland and settled in what is now 
Jefferson county, which was then St. George's parish. Many 
Marylanders came into the lands on Little river, and another 
body of Quakers came from North Carolina, led by Mr. 
Jos. Mattocks, and settled near what was known as the 


village of Wrightsboro. When the newly ceded lands in 
1773 were opened for settlement there was at once a large 
immigration into that section, which was afterward known 
as Wilkes. 

The tide of settlers was not checked by the beginning of 
the Revolution, for it was several years after the war had 
begun that these frontier people were at all disturbed. 

The wondrous fertility and healthfulness of these lands 
drew at once a rush of settlers from the older colonies. 


G2 The Story of Georgia [Chap. ]I. 

The lands were given away, and, without waiting to secure 
headrights or patents, the new immigrant came into these 
woods to choose his home. He found the tract upon 
which he wished to settle, put down his stakes and began 
to build his cabin. It was only necessary for him to file 
with the governor's council an affidavit that he intended to 
settle in the colony, and an order was given to the surveyor 
to lay out for him two hundred acres of land as his head- 
right, and fifty acres additional for each negro he might 
bring with him.. These newcomers, while of the same 
transatlantic stock with the settlers in lower Georgia, 
were not their close kinsmen; they were, as their grand- 
fathers had been, native Americans. Mr. Anthony Stokes, 
who was judge of one of the king's courts, and wrote a 
book concerning Georgia, speaks of them as convicts and 
renegades driven out of the older States, but Mr. Stokes 
was a cockney who knew nothing of these people. 

The early settlers of upper Georgia were not all of the 
same class, but they were much more homogeneous than 
the white people of the lower part cf the State. The low- 
country people were English, Scotch, and Germans, but 
the up-country people were all native Americans. The 
low-country English and Scotch people were much more 
under the influence of English traditions, and there was a 
wider division between classes than in the up-countrv. 
Among these up-countrymen there were not a few ignorant 
unaspiring people. They were not peasants; they lived in 
their own cabins, and worked their own fields. They had. 
never known anything of luxury and had a sovereign con- 
tempt for it. Their origin was probably an humble one. 
Their ancestors of three generations before had been 
brought over to Virginia by an enterprising ship-owner and' 
sold to a tobacco planter for five years, and received a peck 
of corn a week and two suits of plain clothing during the. 
year for wages, and after five years of servitude were freed.. 

1754 1775] AND THE GEORGIA PEOPLE. 63 

When they were no longer in bondage they went out to 
the newer parts of Virginia and into North Carolina, and 
now their descendants came to Georgia. Some of them 
were thriftless and ignorant and degraded. That there 
were such among the early Georgians it would be folly to 
deny. The ubiquitous cracker we will never lose sight of, 
but it would be as untrue to history to put the mass of the 
u[)per Georgians among them, as to put men like James 
Habersham, or Noble Jones, or John More Mcintosh, or 
the Salzburghers among the English paupers, the German 
servants and the Scotch peasants who composed a part of 
the first immigration to Savannah. These up-country 
people were not many of them men of means at the first. 
They had but little education and were plain people in 
manner and plain in dress and surroundings, but they had 
never been in bondage to any man. Many of them sprang 
from the best yeomanry of Scotland, Ireland, Wales, and 
England, and many of them were direct descendants of the 
landed gentry of England. These were the first comers 
into upper Georgia. An examination of the minutes of the 
council gives us an insight into their circumstances. There 
was an Irish colony, as it was called, near what is now 
Louisville, a large settlement of Quakers near Wrights- 
boro and on Little river, and a constant influx of Mary- 
landers, Virginians and North Carolinians into the newly- 
ceded lands. There were quite a number of slaves brought 
into this section, but few of the settlers had more than 
three or four. There was no farming, all were stock-raisers. 
Horses and cattle were turned on the range and rapidly in- 
creased in number. The low-country was receiving settlers 
from South Carolina, who came with many slaves, and who 
lived in great elegance, but the up-country was still a land 
of pioneers. 

Their fathers had continued the old English custom of 
bequeathing their landed property to the eldest son, and 

64 The Story of Georgia [Chap. ii. 

the younger children were compelled to seek homes in the 
lands of new Viro^inia and North Carolina. Thev had no 
opportunities to secure an education, and grew up with 
oftentimes no more than was necessary to enable them to 
read. Their children were given homes in Georgia if they 
would occupy them, and they came in large numbers. The 
headright of two hundred acres was free, and the settler 
had but to choose his land to have it granted to him. 
There was little in outside appearances to distinguish a man 
whose ancestry went back to the Conquest from the man 
whose ancestors had been serfs for generations. They 
dressed in the same garb and used the same dialect, com- 
mon dangers united all classes, and common interests 
caused them to blend. They married and intermarried, 
and soon they were by men like Sir Anthony Stokes 
grouped together as composing one class. 

These various classes in after-times became to some ex- 
tent distinct, but up to the Revolution there was little to 
mark them. After the Revolution the lines were more dis- 
tinctly drawn. Every interest was advancing in the colony, 
and the enterprising Mr. Whitefiield projected another grand 
scheme. The orphanage which he had founded, and which 
was fairly opened in 1741, had been carefully watched over 
by him for over thirty years, and had been fostered by his 
constant care. As the prosperity of the colony during 
Governor Wright's time had greatly increased the means 
of the people, the necessity for a home for orphans dimin- 
ished. Mr. Whitefield then conceived the plan of establish- 
ing a college for the young men of the Southern colonies 
and of the English West Indies. He Jiad now about sixty 
orphans, one thousand eight hundred acres of land and 
thirty negroes, and the Legislature granted him two thou- 
sand acres of land additional on Turtle river, not far from 
Brunswick, for the endowment of the college. He proposed 
to go to England to collect funds, and invest five thousand 

1754-1775.] AND THE GEORGIA PeOPLE. 65 

dollars in negroes to cultivate his newly granted rice land, 
near the Altamaha, but on his way to England, in Newberry- 
port, Mass., he suddenly died. Not long after the college 
buildings were consumed by fire. He had left the property 
to his friend and patron, Lady Huntington. She rebuilt 
the house, but it never was properly established as a college; 
and, as Colonel Jones, who has given so full a sketch of 
Bethesda, says, was in moribund condition when it came 
into her hands.* It never rallied. The troubles with the 
mother country came. Its great friend, James Habersham, 
died in New Jersey in 1775. The property was confiscated 
and passed into the possession of the State, and after sundry 
unhappy experiences it was finally sold in 1808, and the 
proceeds distributed among certain benevolent institutions 
in Savannah. In 1854 a society of benevolent men of all 
classes, known as the Union Society, bought the site again 
and established a home for orphans which abides to this 

The moral sentiment of the colony, so high in the first 
years, was not lowered during Governor Wright's time. 
The influence of men like Mr. Habersham and Mr. Bryan, 
and especially Mr. VVhitefield, of the pious Lutherans, and 
now of the Puritans at Dorchester, all united to give to the 
colony a decidedly religious complexion. 

Although the Church of England was established, an act 
was passed by which dissenters were not required to even 
take an oath before the courts in a way objectionable to 
them, and there was no interference at all with their relig- 
ious privileges. The most rigid Puritan could not have 
asked for laws which were more sweeping on the subject of 
gaming, lotteries, Sabbath observance, profane swearing, or 
horse-racing. The law against Sabbath-breaking made in 
1765, and revived, with the exception of two features,. after 

* See Stevens and Jones for fuller account. 

6Q The Story of Georgia [Chap. ir. 

the Revolution, required the most scrupulous observance- 
of that holy day. The law required every one to go to 
church, under a penalty, every Sunday, and forbade any 
work, trading, traveling, reveling, hunting, fishing, or 
gaming on that day. It required justices and town wardens 
to carry out the law, and that the act should be read yearly 
in every church. The act was modified, but not repealed, 
when the independence of the State was secured. The 
administration of Sir James Wright was a clean one, and 
the morals of his council were of the highest kind. The 
laxity of conduct found in the young State was not in the 
colony. There were schools in Savannah, Sunbury, and 
at Ebenezer, Bethesda and Augusta, and doubtless 
there were private tutors in the homes of the rice-planters 
on the Altamaha, and some schools in St. George's parish; 
but the settlers in the newer sections were as yet struggling 
with the question as to how they were to be fed, and their 
educational privileges were very few. 

In material things the older part of the colony had very 
rapidly advanced, but nowhere had the advancement been> 
so great as in the Dorchester settlement. The marshes had 
been ditched and banked, rice-fields had been opened, and 
large plantations were made. Sunbury had become quite a 
populous little village of eight hundred to one thousand in- 
habitants, with a considerable trade from all the country 
about, and was exporting to England direct. The sea fur- 
nished rich supplies of fish and oysters, the woods were 
full of deer and turkeys; the bear and the panthers, or 
tigers, as the people called them, were in the swamps, and 
great droves of wild fowl came annually to lakes and 
lagoons. There was the church at Midway where the 
planters assembled for their weekly service, and the social 
life in so homogeneous a community was of the most de- 
lightful kind. The people of this community brought cul- 
ture, refinement and religion with them, and in this section. 

1754-1775.] AND THE GEORGIA PeOPLE. 67 

of Georgia, where for countless miles to the westward there 
was a forest of pine woods unbroken save by a few Indian 
villages, there was a community rarely equalled for intel- 
ligence and piety, and in which was found solid comfort, 
and even elegance of living. The change in the condition 
of things on the Altamaha during the years since slavery 
had been allowed had been very decided. The people 
living near Darien were nearly all of them kinspeople. 
John More Mcintosh, who had founded the colony, had 
become a man of large fortune, and on the main on the rice 
plantations were a large number of his kinsmen'. The 
Scotchmen who came to New Inverness were now scattered 
all over the tide-water country and were prosperous stock- 
raisers. There were many Scotchmen engaged in mercan- 
tile business in Savannah and Sunbury, and who were in 
the Indian trade in Augusta. 

The large incoming of new settlers brought a lively trade 
to the three main markets, and as the visionary schemes of 
raising silk and wine were given up the colonists gave their 
attention to corn, indigo, rice and cattle. 

Negro slaves were very cheap, and they were becoming 
very numerous on the sea islands and the rice plantations. 
The sea island planters were large producers of indigo, 
while the rice plantations were above the salt water on the 
coast. The people in the interior gave their attention almost 
entirely to corn and live stock. There was some lumber 
cut by whip saws^ some crude turpentine and pitch and a 
large quantity of peltry of all kinds, myrtle-wax, hogs 
and cattle, which found a market in Savannah. 

The counties below the Altamaha were very thinly peo- 
pled. Where St. Marys now is was a frontier post, and in 
the interior there were a few people on cattle ranches, but 
up to the Revolution the population was very small and the 
people very poor and very lawless. 

The Germans were increasing. The new coming Ger- 

68 The Story of Georgia [Chap. II. 

mans brought in by Captain De Brahm and the Salzburghers 
had become one. They were of the same tongue and of 
the same faith, and naturally coalesced. These people were 
small farmers but very thrifty, and were constantly extend- 
ing their lines and improving their estates. They had good 
pastors and intelligent schoolmasters, and when the Revo- 
lution began no people could have been more thrifty. 

Up the Savannah river above the pine forests of St. 
Matthews there was a large section of valuable land un- 
suited for rice planting, but very fertile. It was on the 
Savannah and Ogeechee rivers and the creeks flowing into 
them, and was included in St. George's and St. Matthew's 
parishes. It was known as the borough of Halifax. In 
that part of this country now known as Burke, Screven and 
Jefferson, as we have seen elsewhere, there had come a 
great many worthy settlers from Virginia and North Caro- 
lina, and in the western part of it, as we have already seen, 
there was a large settlement of Scotch-Irish people. The 
Savannah river for much of its course through these counties 
was bordered by a thick swamp of cypress and water-oaks, 
and great cane-brakes, but along Briar and Bark Camp, 
Mcintosh and McBeans, and Rocky creeks and the Ogee- 
chee river there were fine lands adapted to the cultivation 
of corn and the raising of stock. People of moderate means 
had come in numbers into this country where land was 
easily secured and preempted small farms, which in course 
of time became large cotton plantations. • But for the civil 
strife which the Revolution brought in, there would have 
been little disturbance to them during the war, but the Tories 
made sad ravages of these frontier homes. 

Of the history of Savannah and Augusta I speak more 
particularly elsewhere, and it is not needful to do more here 
than mention the fact of their rapid growth and great pros- 
perity. They were the chief commercial marts and were 

1754-1775.] AND THE GEORGIA PeOPLE. 69 

largely peopled by cannie Scotch traders who drove a thrifty 

The twenty years which had elapsed since the trustees 
had surrendered their charter had brought about great 
changes in the social life of older parts of the colony, in 
which now everything had taken shape. The removal of 
the restriction concerning slavery, the admirable adaptation 
of the lands on the Ogeechee and Savannah and the Alta- 
maha for rice culture, and the low price of negroes and the 
fact that the land was given away, led to the opening of 
large plantations and the establishment of homes of elegance 
in Savannah. The inventory of the property shows that 
before 1774 in Savannah and in Liberty county some of 
the planters had every elegance, even to phaetons and 
horses. There was a life of luxurious indulgence among 
the gentlemen, whether they lived on their estates or in 
their city residences. The importers brought into Savannah 
silks and satins from France, Madeira wine, cognac brandy, 
cases of Geneva gin, Jamaica rum, as well as the cheaper 
New England rum for the common people. In all the 
homes the decanter had a place on the sideboard, and was 
always brought out at every gathering. Society had taken 
a shape on the seaboard in 1774 from which there was little 
departure for over forty years, except during the Revolu- 
tionary war. The plain people of St. Matthew's, conserva- 
tive and thrifty, had now after forty years of careful industry 
surrounded themselves with many substantial comforts, and 
were independent and prosperous. The rice-planters of St. 
John's parish had but transferred the long-established 
homes in South Carolina to Georgia, and society in the 
Midway and Newport section had not had any infancy. 
There was a frontier in upper Georgia and in the country 
south of the Altamaha, and all the hardships which had 
been encountered by the first comers to Georgia forty years 

70 The Story of Georgia [Chap. II. 

before were encountered by the newcomers to St. George's, 
St. Paul's, and St. Andrew's. 

An Independent Presbyterian Church, of which I speak 
more fully elsewhere, had been built in Savannah, and Mr. 
John Joachim Zubli, a Swiss, was the minister, and while the 
church people went to hear Mr. Haddon Smith read the 
service, and Governor Wright and Captain Tattnall, Judge 
Stokes, Messrs. Habersham and Bolton, and other old 
Englishmen had their pews in Christ's church. Sir John 
Grahame, Mr. Gibbons, and Mr. McGilveray went to the 
kirk to hear the sermon and sing the Psalms. The steady- 
going Lutherans had their churches at Ebenezer and Goshen. 
The Congregationalists went to hear Mr. Osgood, and now 
the Baptists came. Mr. Daniel Marshall moved into the 
Kiokee settlement, and did some wonderful work, and Mr. 
Bottsford organized some Baptist meetings on Briar creek, 
in Burke county, and a young Presbyterian licentiate was 
working in the neighborhood of the old church in St. 
George's and gathering the scattered Presbyterians together; 
but as a general thing these colonists had no one to preach 
to them, and no one to teach their children, save now and 
then a wandering Irishman, who taught a subscription 
school for a few months in the year. There was every- 
thing, however, to be hoped for in the future, when the 
events of which we shall speak in the next chapter occurred, 
and then for near a decade of years there was desolation. 

The list of public ofificers in 1774 gives us a good insight 
into the colony as it then was. There were: 

Sir James Wright, governor ; James Habersham, Lewis John- 
son, John Graham, Jas. Read, Clement Martin, Gray Elliot, Jas. 
Mackey, Jona Bryan, Jas. Edward Powell, counsellors; Noble 
Jones, Alex. Wylly, Jno. Adam Truetlen, John Mullryne, Patrick 
Houston, John Smith, David C. Braddock, Jno. Simpson, Geo. 
Mcintosh, Thos. Vincent, Thos. Moody, Wm. Ewen, Edward 
Barnard, N. Jones, Jona Cochran, Andrew Johnson, John 

1754-1775.] AND THE GEORGIA PeOPLE. 71 

Milledge, Josiah Tattnall, Assemblymen ; Button Gwinnett, J. P. 
St. John's; H. Preston, notary ; C. Prest, attorney-general; C. 
Watson; M. Roche, provost marshal; Chas. Pryce, notary; 
David Emanuel, David Lewis, Thomas Burton, J. P. St. George's; 
Sam Bullock, J. P. Christ Church; James Brown, dep. surveyor; 
Wm. Graems, attorney ; Sam'l Farley, solicitor ; John Glen, 
lawyer and attorney-general ; L. Claiborn, lawyer ; Henry Y.onge, 
lawyer; Thos. Schender, lawyer ; John Smith, lawyer; Anthony- 
Stokes, lawyer and chief justice ; James Hume, lawyer. Savannah; 
Wm. Belcher, lawyer; Arthur Carney, justice of the peace for the 
four southern parishes and captain of militia; Reymond Demere, 
ditto; John Holmes, J. P. St. George's; Thos, Stone, J. P. St. 
Phillip's; Stephen Smith, J. P. St. George's; Thomas Ross, 
solicitor; Wm. Stephens, clerk Assembly, Savannah; John 
Hume, secretary and registror, Savannah ; Lewis Johnson, treas- 
urer. Savannah ; Wm. Stewart, N. P. ; Isaac Perry, dept. 
surveyor; Frank Bigbee, surgeon ; John Stephens, 3d lieutenant; 
James Whitefield, quartermaster ; Benj. Lewis, dept. surveyor; 
Richard Scruggs, J. P. St. Matthew's ; J. T. Russell, J. P. St. 
Andrew's; Jno. MacLean, J. P. Christ Church; John Dunbar, 
J. P. St. John's ; Sim'l Creswill, D. S.; Jos. Houghton, James 
Cosby, D. S. ; James Pannel, D. S. ; Basil Lamar, D. S.; John 
Dooly, D. S. ; Jona Sells, D. S. ; George Walton, solicitor ; 
David Tait ; Andrew Elton Wells, clerk of market and marshal; 
Geo. Barry, justice; Francis Arthur, D. S.; James Robertson, 
solicitor ; J. Pickens, D. S. ; Thomas Waters, J. P. ; Edward 
Keating, J. P.; J. Wood, J. P. St. John's; James Lucina, J. P. 
•Christ Church ; D. Frazer, Sunbury ; James Seymour, J. P. St. 
George's and St. Matthev^^'s ; Stephen Matthews; J. Waltbaur, 
J. P. St. Matthew's; Jno. Stirk, captain; Jas. Seymour; Quinton 
Pooler, captain 4th ; Philip Howell, J. P. St. Matthew's ; Samuel 
Strong, D. S. ; James Kitching, collector; Roberc Hamilton, 
solicitor ; James Peart, D. S. ; Elijah Lewis, D. S. ; James 
Cantey, deputy surveyor; John Graves; Thomas Chisholm, 
deputy surveyor ; Alex Wyly; Isaac Antrobus, deputy sur- 
veyor; J. Lewis, deputy surveyor ; Jos. Marshall, J. P. St. 
Georges; Jno. Douglass, deputy; Josiah Cantey, D. S. ; Isaac 
Antrobus, collector Sunbury ; Elijah Brazeal, J. P. St. George's 
parish; Rich Cunningham; Patrick Houston, J. P.; William 

72 The Stoky of Georgia [Chap. ll. 

Evans, lieutenant; Wm. McKenzie; Jos. Johnson, J. P.; Wm. 
Candler, D. S. St. Paul's ; Alex. Thompson, J. P. Christ Church ; 
James McFarlane, J. P. St. Paul's; Robert Baillie, D. S. ; Andrew 
Way, D. S. ; James Kitchings, collector ; Francis Paris, J. P. 
St. George's; Wm. Harding, D. S. ; Philip Young, solicitor; Wm. 
Haven, naval officer; Henry Yonge, solicitor; John Houston, 
solicitor; Wm. Sims, deputy surveyor; Alex Thompson; Jed 
Smith, deputy surveyor; Sanders Walker, deputy surveyor; 
Thos. Pittman, deputy surveyor ; J. P. Romans, J. P. ; Thomas 
Carr, collector Sunbury ; Francis Lee, naval officer ; Chas. Pryce, 
dep't reg. and examiner in chancery ; Jno. Simpson, clerk in the 
house; Wm. Brown, searcher for the port of Savannah; John 
Thomas, John Mann, militia officers Burke; Wm. Graeme, 
attorney-general ; Mat. Roche, provost marshal ; Isaac Ford, J. 
P.St. George's; Moses Nunez, searcher port Savannah; Alex. 
Findley, Jas; Seymour, schoolmasters; Jared Nelson, Benj. Stirk ; 
D. M. Neal, Wm. Barnard, deputy surveyors; Jno. Oliver, J. P. 
St. Paul's; James McFarlane, deputy surveyor ; R. Wylley, N. P. ; 
Wm. Harding, J. P. St. George's; Wm. McKenzie, comp. searcher 
and solicitor in chancery, Sunbury ; James Kitchings, collector 
Sunbury; James Maxwell, J. P. St. Phillip's; Elijah Lewis, D. S. 
Wm. Downs, D. S. ; Jno. Stuart, councilor ; Leon Marbury 
D. S. ; Ben Lanier, J. P. St. Matthew's; John Chisholm, D. S. 
Wm. Ewen, J. P. Chatham ; Sam'l Elbert, captain, Chatham 
Thomas Skinner, captain, Chatham; T. Netherclift, St. John's 
Alex Hogg, captain. The following were captains, of Chatham 
Jos. Habersham, Henry Yonge, Geo. Houston, Philip Morn 
Alex. Martin, James Roberson, Alex. McGorm, Jno. B. Randell 
Peter Bard, John Lucina, Wm. Stephens and Thos. Ross, 


1775-1782.] AND THE GEORGIA PeOPLE. 73 



The Call for a Meeting of the Disaffected —Appointments of the Revolutionary 
Committee — Passage of Resolutions — Governor Wright's Counter Move- 
ment — Call of a Congress — Failure — Dissatisfaction of St. John's Parish — 
Lyman Hall — Increase of Excitement — Stealing Gunpowder — War Begun 
at Lexington — Call for a Congress — Members of the Congress — Archibald 
Bulloch the President — Dr. Noble Wimberly Jones, John Glen, John Hous- 
ton, Edward Telfair, Dr. Zubly, Wm. Gibbons, John Adam Truetlen, Geo. 
Walton — Organization of the Council of Safety — Governor Wright Virtually 
Deposed — The Formation of the Battalion of Georgia Troops — Lachlan Mc- 
intosh, Samuel Elbert, John Habersham, James Jackson — Mr. Bulloch Elected 
Temporary President — Convention Called — Expedition to St. Augustine a 
Failure — Peaceful Condition of Affairs in the Colony 1776-1778 — Constitu- 
tional Convention — List of Members not to be Found — Constitutional Provi- 
sions — Formation of Counties — Act of Confiscation and Amercement — Truet- 
len Elected Governor — Gwinnett's Duel with Mcintosh — Both Wounded — 
The War in Earnest 1779 — Triumphant March of the British — Capture of Sa- 
vannah — Flight of Legislature — Trouble with Tories — Capture of Augusta — 
Colonel Twiggs, the Fews, Wm. Candler, Elijah Clarke — Sir James Wright, 
at Home Again — Act of Proscription — The Battle of Kettle Creek — Defeat of 
General Ash — Exodeto North Carolina — The Itinerating Capital — The Loy- 
alists and the Tories — Bloody Days — The War Drawing to a Close — Return of 
the Government to Augusta — Governor Brownson— Assembly in Session — 
Act of Confiscation and Amercement — Condition of Things in 1783 — Religious 
Affairs — The Quakers — The Baptists — Marshall, Mercer, Bottsford — Charac- 
teristics of the People — General View of the Churches — Social Conditions 
just after the War. 

Authorities : McCall, Stevens, Jones, White's Collections, Life of Wm. Can- 
dler, Life of James Jackson, Gilmer's Georgians, Lee Memoirs Ramsay, 
History of South Carolina, files of Georgia Gazette in Georgia Historical 

As McCall, Stevens and Jones have each given such a 
careful account of the difficulties' between Governor Wright 
and his Assembly and of the events of the Revolutionary 
war, I shall throw what it is necessary for my purpose into 

74 The Story of Georgia [Chap. iti. 

one chapter of moderate length, and refer those who are 
anxious to make a careful study of those times to these 
valuable works where, with painstaking care, and, as far as 
Jones and Stevens are concerned, with praiseworthy impar- 
tiality everything of importance is detailed. Major McCall 
was perhaps not free from the influence of personal resent- 
ment, and was, perhaps, not prepared to do strict justice 
to a people he so thoroughly detested as the loyalists. 

Governor Wright had been very efficient as a governor, 
and was highly esteemed by all the people until the troubles 
resulting from the Stamp Act began. He was, while 
American born, an Englishman in every fiber of his being, 
and was in full sympathy with the Tory ministry and with 
its measures, but he found his Assembly sadly poisoned by 
what he thought was the virus of rebellion, and as we saw 
in the last chapter, he had at one time an open rupture 
with his Assembly, and went to England for a twenty 
months' stay. The storm, however, blew over; he returned 
to America and had good reason to hope there would be 
peace, but after a short respite from contention the Boston 
port bill was passed, and things began to look warlike in 
the northern provinces. 

There was only one paper in Georgia at that time, the 
Georgia Gazette, and in that paper, on the 29th of July, 1774, 
only one 3'car after Governor Wright had made the great 
purchase from the Indians and opened a new world to 
Georgia, Dr. Noble Wimberly Jones, Mr. Archibald Bul- 
loch, Mr. John Houston, and Mr. George Walton called a 
meeting of the citizens of Savannah to meet in Tondee's 
Lonof Room and consider the situation. 

The governor and several of these gentlemen had been 
at outs for some time, and Dr. Jones had been especially 
offensive, and the governor's indignation against these re- 
bellious subjects, of whom Dr. Jones was one, rose high. 
The convention met in Ausi'ust and considered the condition 

1775-1782.] AND THE GEORGIA PEOPLE. 75 

of things, and a large committee was appointed, consisting 
of John Glen, John Smith, Joseph Clay, John Houston, Dr. 
Noble Wimberly Jones, Lyman Hall, of St. John's parish; 
Wm. Young Esquire, Edward Telfair, Samuel Farley, 
George Walton, Joseph Habersham, Jonathan Bryan, Jona- 
than Cochran, Geo. Mcintosh, Sutton Banks, Wm. Gib- 
bons, Benj. Andrew, of St. John's; John Winn, of St. 
John's; John Stirk, of St. Matthew's; Archibald Bulloch, 
James Screven, David Zubly, H. Bourquine, Elisha Butler, 
Wm. Baker, John Mann, John Bennefield, John Stacy, and 
John Morel, to prepare resolutions. The committee pre- 
pared resolutions which were all the Boston people could 
have asked, and another committee was appointed to secure 
contributions for the relief of the Boston poor, and it col- 
lected and forwarded five hundred and twenty-nine barrels 
of rice to Boston for their relief. The action of this con- 
vention did not meet the approval of the old and staunch 
friends of a king who had always been a kind friend to the 
Georgia colony, and when Governor Wright wrote a protest 
against these utterances, and sent his messengers through 
the parishes to secure signers to it, he had no difificulty in 
securing a large number who expressed most decidedly 
their dissent from the course of these Savannah agitators. 
Men who fought afterward long and bravely for the Amer- 
ican cause were found in large numbers among these 

The convention in Savannah could not see its way clear 
to the appointment of delegates to the Continental Con- 
gress, and much to the displeasure of the more ardent Sons 
of Liberty, and especially of those of St. John's parish, it 
adjourned and sent no delegates. 

So another Congress was called to appoint delegates, but 
when the time came for its assemblage there were only five 
parishes represented. This meeting, insignificant as it was, 
still hoped to get the Assembly to appoint delegates to the 


76 The Story of Georgia [Chap. III. ! 

Continental Congress, and it might have succeeded but i 
that the shrewd old governor dissolved the Assembly and ! 
checkmated it. The convention went through the form of j 
an election, however, and Mr. Noble W. Jones, Mr. Archi- | 
bald Bulloch and Mr. John Houston were selected as dele- 
gates to Philadelphia, but as they had no proper authority, ] 
and as the Georgia colony had not complied with the con- j 
ditions of membership in the association, the delegates did ' 
not go, but sent a letter. This conduct was displeasing to i 
the people of St. John's parish, who accepted all the condi- 
tions prescribed, and they sent Lyman Hall, a Connecticut i 
man who practiced medicine in Sunbury, as their delegate,, j 
and he went to Philadelphia and took his seat in the Conti- 
nental Congress, but did not vote. 

Things were in a turmoil. The governor thought he had 
stamped out the fires of rebellion as they were kindled at j 
Tondee's tavern, but to his dismay and disgust those irre- j 
pressible rebels broke out again. Some of them were men I 
of years, for there was Mr. Jonathan Bryan, a staid, pious, j 
wealthy old man; Dr. Noble Wimberly Jones, who came to j 
the colony forty years before a child, who was now a i 
wealthy and well educated physician; Mr. Edward Telfair, '. 
a native Scotchman and a successful merchant, and among 
the young men were James Habersham and John and Joseph | 
his brothers, whose father was one of the staunchest friends 
of the king; these, as well as that young madcap, James ■ 
Jackson; the hot-headed youth, John Milledge, and that i 
Virginia adventurer, George Walton, were all in the con- | 
clave of rebels and were defying him. To crown all they j 
broke open the powder magazine in Savannah and stole the 
gunpowder, and soon after this Major Habersham, in con- j 
nection with the rebellious South Carolinians, captured a < 
ship-load of gunpowder and turned it over to the rebels. "' 

The brave old loyalist was powerless. Nominally he was 
captain-general and commander-in-chief, but reall}' he was 

1775-1782.] AND THE GEORGIA PEOPLE. 77 

a prisoner in his own home. The up-country parishes 
were, however, not disaffected, and he had good reason to 
hope this storm would blow over as the one raised by the 
Stamp Act had, and that he would be in power again, but 
matters, instead of getting better, grew worse. Men whom 
he thought he could rely on in the up-country were becom- 
ing disaffected. . 

After Lexington and Concord the whole colony was 
aroused, and a convention was called to meet in Savannah 
July 4, 1775, and there assembled delegates from all the 
parishes. The delegates were: 

From Savannah: A. Bulloch, Noble Wimberly Jones, Jos. 
Habersham, Jonathan Bryan, Ambrose Wright, William 
Young, John Glenn, Samuel Elbert, John Houston, Oliver 
Bowen, John McCluer, Edward Telfair, Thomas Lee, George 
Houston, Joseph Reynolds, John Smith, Wm. Ewen, John 
Martin, Dr. Zubli, Wm. Bryan, Philip Box, Philip Allman, 
Wm. O' Bryan, Joseph Clay, Seth John Cuthbert. 

District of Vernonsburg: Joseph Butler, Andrew Elton 
Wells, Matthew Roche, Jr. 

Acton: David Zubli. Basil Cowper, Wm. Gibbons. 

Sea Island district: Colonel De Vaux, Colonel Delegal, 
James Bulloch, James Morel, John M. Giradeau, John Bar- 
nard, Robert Gibson. 

St. Matthew's: Jno. Stirk, Jno. A. Treutlen, Geo. Walton, 
Edward Jones, Jacob Waldhauer, Philip Howell, Isaac 
Young, Jenkin Davis, John Morel, John Fieri, Charles Mc- 
Cay, C. Cramer. 

St. George's: Henry Jones, John Green, Thos. Burton, 
Wm. Lord, David Lewis, Benjamin Lewis, James Pugh, 
John Fulton. 

St. Andrew's: J. Cochran, W. Jones, P. Tarlin, L. Mcin- 
tosh, W. Mcintosh, George Threadcraft, John Wereat, Rod- 
erick Mcintosh, John Witherspoon, Geo. Mcintosh, Allen 
Stuart, John Mcintosh, Raymond Demere. 

78 The Story of Georgia [Chap. III. 

St. Philip's: Colonel Butler, Wm. Lecompte, Wm. Max- 
well, James Maxwell, S. Drayton, A. F. Brisbane, L. 
Mains, Hugh Bryan. 

St. David's: Daniel Ryan. 

St. Thomas's: J. Roberts. 

St. Paul's: John Walton, Jos. Mattocks, Andrew Burns, 
Robert Rae, James Rae, Andrew Moore, Andrew Burney, 
Leonard Marbury. 

St. John's: James Screven, Nicolas Brownson, D. Rob- 
erts, Jno. Baker, Jno. Bacon, J. Maxwell, E. Ball, William 
Baker, Wm. Bacon, Jno. Stevens, John Winn. 

There had been very decided changes in the colony, and 
this Georgia congress had in it a number of able men of 
Georgia birth. Savannah was no longer a village. It had 
for the sixteen years of Governor Wright's governorship 
been continually advancing, and the South Carolina colony 
had given to Georgia some very valuable citizens, among 
them Archibald Bulloch, who was made president of this 
provincial congress. He was an ardent patriot, a man of 
great purity of character, and was so highly esteemed for 
his virtue and ability that he was chosen president of the 
Provincial Congress, and elected a delegate to the Conti- 
nental Congress, and when Governor Wright was deposed 
and fled the State, and a council of safety was appointed to 
take charge of things in the interim before the adoption of 
a constitution, he was selected as the president and com- 
mander-in-chief. He was in this position when the Declara- 
tion of Independence was made, and it was his office to 
read the document to the assembly of citizens, who with 
due honors celebrated the event in Savannah. He called 
the convention to form a constitution, and would doubtless 
have been elected the first governor of the State under it, 
but was taken ill and died before its adoption, and John A. 
Treutlen was chosen. It was while Mr. Bulloch was presi- 

1775-1782.] AND THE GEORGIA PeOPLE. 79 

dent of the council that an abortive movement was made by 
General Lee on St. Augustine. 

Mr. Jonathan Bryan, the son of Joseph Bryan, who had 
assisted Mr. Oglethorpe forty years before with his sawyers 
and carpenters, was himself a venerable man, a man of 
large means and a member of the council. His sympathies 
were with the Whigs and he became obnoxious to the gov- 
ernor, and when the governor threatened him with his dis- 
pleasure indignantly threw up his office and left the council. 
He was an ardent patriot to the last, and was captured by the 
British and imprisoned in a prison-ship until he was released. . 

Dr. Noble Wimberly Jones was the son of Noble Jones, 
one of Mr. Oglethorpe's emigrants and a trusted man in 
the colony. Dr. Jones was himself an Englishman and 
could not have been less than fifty years old at this time, as 
he is mentioned as one who received the grant of a lot in 
1733. He was a man of means, intelligence and character, 
and was a physician by profession. He was an ardent Whig, 
much to the sorrow of his excellent father, who was loyal 
to the last. He was obnoxious to Governor Wright because 
of his liberal views, and when he was elected speaker, as we 
have seen. Governor Wright dissolved the Assembly, and 
when he was again elected on its reassembling, James 
Habersham, acting governor, did the same thing. 

Dr. Jones was elected twice a delegate to the Continental 
Congress, but did not go on account of his great respect for 
his aged father, who was, like his friend James Habersham, 
near the end of his life, and who died during these troubles.* 
John Glen was a prominent lawyer in Savannah. He was 
son-in-law of Noble Jones and brother-in-law of Noble 
Wimberly Jones. He was so obnoxious to Governor Wright 
that he was ostracized by his proclamation, and so moderate 

* Stevens and Colonel Jones both pay a lofty tribute to this excellent man, and 
to his descendant, Mr. De Renne, to whom Georgia is much indebted for the 
recovery and reproduction of much bearing on her early history. 

80 The Story of Georgia [Chap, hi. 

in his Whigism that he was denounced by the Legislature of 
1782 as a Tory. This censure was afterward, however, re- 
moved. Samuel Elbert, who rose to be a brigadier and 
governor, was the son of a Baptist preacher; born in South 
Carolina, he came to Georgia when quite young, married in 
Georgia, was captain of a volunteer company of grenadiers, 
and was selected as a field-officer in the first battalion of 
Georgia troops. He was captured at Briar creek, was ex- 
changed, re-entered the army and was at the surrender of 

In 1785 he was elected governor of the State by an 
almost unanimous vote* and made a treaty with the Indians 
at Shoulderbone creek. Three years after he left the gov- 
ernor's chair he died. 

John Houston was the son of Sir Patrick Houston, who 
was one of the first settlers in the colony. He was one of 
the leading patriots and was appointed as one of the first 
representatives to the Continental Congress, and in 1778 he 
was chosen as governor of the new state, and in 1784 
was governor a second time. He was a commissioner for 
the settlement of the boundary line between Georgia and 
South Carolina. After a life of distinguished service he 
died in Savannah in 1796. 

Edward Telfair was a Scotchman who came with his 
brother to Savannah when he was thirty-one years old. 
William, the brother, was a Loyalist, but Edward was a Whig. 
He threw himself fully into the ranks of the patriots, and 
was with Jones, Habersham, Milledge and Walton at the 
breaking into the magazine. He was governor for two 
terms and elected twice to Congress. He died in 1807. 
He was a man of fine business judgment, of large wealth, 
and of great intelligence and public spirit. 

Wm. Ewen was an Englishman by birth and came to the 
colony a poor boy. He was a potter and became a man of 

* White. 


1776-1782.] AND THE GEORGIA PeOPLE. 81 

substance and a lawyer. He took the side of the Ameri- 
cans, and was one of the council of safety and afterward 
president of the council.* 

The Rev. Dr. Zubly was the first pastor of the Independ- 
ent Presbyterian church in Savannah. He sympathized, no 
doubt, sincerely with the first movements of the Whigs and 
Was sent as a delegate to Philadelphia. While there he 
became satisfied that the independence of the colonies would 
be declared. He was bitterly opposed to going so far, and 
when he was assured that the Congress would be satisfied 
with nothing less than independence, he divulged that fact 
to Sir James Wright in a letter. When it was discovered 
that he had done this he left Philadelphia hurriedly and 
fled to Savannah. The story of his treachery, as his course 
was called, followed him, and he was driven into exile and 
a large part of his property confiscated. He died before 
the war was over in South Carolina. 

Wm. Gibbons was a prominent lawyer, whose family were 
leading and wealthy people in Savannah. He was very 
famous in after time as a lawyer and a man of large wealth 
and great enterprise. 

John Adam Treutlen, the second of the name, descended 
from one of the Salzburghers, and the name is found among 
the deacons of the church. -j- He was possibly a son of the 
first Treutlen. He was elected governor at the first elec- 
tion by the legislature after the adoption of the constitu- 
tion of 1777. When Col. Wm. Henry Drayton was trying 
to arouse a sentiment in favor of a union of the Georgia and 
Carolina colonies, he said some things which irritated the 
fiery German, and he published a loud protest and offered 
$100 reward for the arrest of the "said Wm. Henry 
Drayton." He was killed by the British in South Carolina. ;|: 

* White, 2. 

■f See Strobel's History of the Salzburghers. 
t White. 

82 The Story of Georgia [Chap. hi. 

John Wereat was an Englishman of fine mind and exten- 
sive attainments. He was a leading man in the colony and 
the patron of James Jackson, whose father had been his 
friend in England. 

George Walton was a Virginian. He was a member of 
an old and highly respected family in that State, but having 
lost his father and his estate being small, his guardian put 
him as apprentice to a carpenter. When his time was out 
he came to Georgia, where he had relatives, and resolved to 
study law, which he did with Colonel Yonge in Savannah, 
and began to practice there. He was heart and hand with 
the Whigs from the first, and was with the Savannah coterie 
in their daring measures. He was sent a delegate to the 
Continental Congress, signed the Declaration of Independ- 
ence, was in the army as colonel and was wounded and 
taken prisoner. Was president of the council, governor, 
chief justice, and six times elected to Congress. He died 
in Augusta while judge of the superior court, in the early 
part of the century.* 

These were some of those who were in this memorable 

convention of 1775. Few bodies of men have ever assem- 

• bled in Georgia of more ability. The convention represented 

all parts of the young colony. At this time Georgia had 

in it only 17,000 white people in all.-j- 

The Assembly took charge of the government of the 
colony as the Long Parliament had taken charge of English 
affairs in the days of Charles I., and Governor Wright 
found himself powerless. He needed some troops to bring 
these recusants to order, and he wrote the British general 
and the British admiral to supply his needs, but the uncon- 
scionable rebels of South Carolina secured his letters and 
substituted others for them, telling the general and the ad- 
miral that all was well in the Georgia colony. The Assem- 

* While, 


AND THE Georgia People. 83 

bly finally ordered his arrest, and Major Habersham did 
the work as gently as possible. The old governor was sub- 
jected to no indignity, but simply confined to his home. 
He was allowed to escape, and he left the colony, much to 
its relief and doubtless to his own, and went to England, 
where he was received with due honors. The Assembly 
appointed delegates to the Continental Congress, who were: 
Dr. Zubly, Dr. Jones, Arch Bulloch, John Houston and Dr. 
l.yman Hall; provided for the issuing of paper money, 
which soon became worthless, and proceeded to organize 
a battalion of State troops. The officers of the battalion 
were: Colonel, Lachlan Mcintosh; Lieutenant -Colonel, 
Samuel Elbert; Major, Joseph Habersham. 

First Company: Captain, Francis H. Harris; First Lieu- 
tenant, John Habersham; Second Lieutenant, John Jenkins; 
Third Lieutenant, Ensign Rae, Savannah. 

Second Company: Captain, Oliver Bowen, commodore; 
First Lieutenant, George Hanley; Second Lieutenant, John 
Berrien (afterward treasurer of the State, and father of John 
MacPherson Berrien), Savannah. 

Third Company: Captain, John Mcintosh; First Lieuten- 
ant, Lachlan Mcintosh; Second Lieutenant, Francis Archer; 
Ensign, J. Morrison, Darien. 

Fourth Company: Captain, Arthur Carney; First Lieu- 
tenant, Benj. Odinsell; Second Lieutenant, John Eman; 
Ensign, DeLaplaine, Liberty. 

Fifth Company: Captain, Thomas Chisholm; First Lieu- 
tenant, Caleb Howell; Second Lieutenant, Daniel Cuthbert; 
Ensign, Wm. Mcintosh, St. Philip's. 

Sixth Company; Captain, John Green, Burke; Lieuten- 
ant, Ignatius Few, Columbia. 

Seventh Company: Captain, Chesley Bostwick, Rich- 
mond; First Lieutenant, John Martin, Jefferson. 

Eighth or Rifle Company: Captain, Colson; First Lieu- 
tenant, Shadrach Wright; Second Lieutenant, George Wal- 

84 The Story of Georgia [Chap. hi. 

ton;* Chaplain, John Holmes, Episcopal minister, Wilkes 

Lachlan Mcintosh, who was to command the battalion, 
was one of that famous clan who settled at Darien, the son 
of John More Mcintosh, the chief of the clan. He was 
himself born in Scotland, but had spent his early years in 
Georgia on the southern frontier at Darien, where his father 
kept the store of the trustees, and after that had a trading- 
post for the Indians and a rice plantation. In his youth he 
was in Charleston in a commercial house. He was a Whig 
from the beginning of the struggle, and when the First bat- 
talion was organized he was appointed to command it. He 
was a hasty, fearless Highlander, and became involved in 
a difficulty with Button Gwinnett in the early part of the 
war. There was a duel; both men were wounded, Gwin- 
nett fatally. Colonel Mcintosh then went to Virginia and 
had a command under Washington. He returned to Geor- 
gia and was in command of a brigade at the siege of Sa- 
vannah, and was captured at the surrender of General Lin- 
coln in Charleston. He died in Savannah in 1806. 

Joseph Habersham, the major of the battalion, was the 
son of James Habersham, the staunch Loyalist. He was a 
native of Savannah, and was not twenty-five years old when 
the troubles began. He was educated at Princeton, and 
when only twenty-three years old was one of the committee 
appointed by the Liberty Boys. He was connected with 
the group who broke open the magazine and who captured 
the ship-load of powder. He was often in the General As- 
sembly, and at one time was Speaker of the House; after- 
ward he was postmaster-general of the United States. He 
died in Savannah in i8i5.f The First company was com- 
posed of Savannah people and was commanded by Captain 

* This George Walton was George Walton of Wilkes county, a relative of 
George Walton the signer. 

1775-1782.] AND THE GEORGIA PeOPLE. 85 

Francis Henry Harris, the son of Francis Harris, who had 
long been in the colony, and was one of its trusted officers. 
Young Harris was at school in Fngland when the war be- 
gan. He came home at once and entered the army. His 
career was a brief one. In 1782, when the victory was 
nearly won, while he was in the army in South Carolina, 
a Georgia refugee fighting against the common foe, he 

The officers of the battalion came from all parts of the 
State, and as there was no immediate call for active service 
the little army was not put into the field, and only a few of 
the officers selected won any laurels during the war. 

Among the most ardent of the young Liberty Boys was 
James Jackson, a fiery young Englishman, whose name does 
not appear among them, for he was a comparative stranger 
and not yet of age. Young Jackson had been invited to 
Georgia by Mr. Wereat, his father's friend, and had been in 
the province only a few years. He was a law student when 
the war broke out, and sympathizing with the Americans 
he threw himself with his whole soul into the contest. He 
so distinguished himself in the first military movements in 
Georgia that he was given a command as captain. He was 
in Savannah when it fell, and fled with John Milledge to 
South Carolina to join the army there. He was put in 
command of some refugee troops and was at the surrender 
of Augusta and commandant there. Then he raised and 
commanded a battalion of cavalry, and when Savannah fell 
he was the officer to whom was delegated by General 
Wayne the honor of leading the first troops into the evacu- 
ated city. 

He threw himself after the war into politics, and at one 
time opposed his old commander. General Wayne, for a 
seat in Congress, and up to his death in 1806 he was per- 
haps the most prominent figure in Georgia. He was a man 

* White. 

86 The Story of Georgia [Chap. hi. 

of perfect fearlessness and exceedingly hasty temper, and 
in those days a word was followed by a blow and a blow 
by a duel. He fought a duel to the death during the Rev- 
olution with Lieutenant-Governor George Wells, who had 
affronted him, and fought several duels after that. He was 
intensely devoted to his adopted State, and there was no 
honor which she had it in her power to confer that she 
withheld from him. We shall see him often in the course 
of this history. 

The council to whom all the matters connected with the 
government were referred consisted of George Walton, 
Wrn. Ewen, Step Drayton, Noble W. Jones, Basil Cowper, 
Edward Telfair, J. L. Girardeau, Jonathan Bryan, John 
Smith, Wm. Gibbons, John Martin, Oliver Bowen, Ambrose 
Wright,* Samuel Elbert, Jos. Habersham, Francis Henry 

Of a number of these we have already spoken. Of 
some few of them we know little, and one of them was de- 
nounced in an after time as a Loyalist. John Martin, known 
by Governor Wright as black John from the northward, 
was afterward governor, and was in that position when the 
Legislature returned to Savannah. Ambrose Wright had 
been Mr. Whitefield's traveling companion and his trusted 
friend, who was in charge of his interests at Bethesda and 
received a generous bequest from him when he died. 
Oliver Bowen was the leading naval officer in Georgia. 

The council elected Geo. Walton temporary president 
and commissioned the officers of the battalion, and 
elected Mr. Archibald Bulloch the first president of the 
council. Mr. Bulloch called a convention to form a con- 
stitution. It was duly chosen and a constitution was 
adopted, but all record of its members and of its doings 
have been lost. We have the constitution it formed, but 
no other trace of it. The constitution was adopted by the 

*He was the ancestor of General Ambrose R. Wright of the C. S. A. 

1775-1782.] AND THE GEORGIA PEOPLE. 87 

convention which met in Savannah in 1777 ; but President 
Bulloch, who called the convention and presided over its 
sessions, died soon after its adjournment, and Button Gwin- 
nett was chosen by the council to succeed him. 

There was but little attention paid to the weak province 
of Georgia by the British during the years 1775, '76, '']'] 
and '78, and there were no military operations of any im- 
portance. There was a little skirmish near Savannah, dig- 
nified by Bishop Stephens as the first battle in Georgia. 
An abortive movement was made on St. Augustine in 1776, 
and a second of the same character in 1777. A successful 
campaign, conducted by John Jones, Captain Twiggs and 
Captain Marbury, from the new settlements, against the 
Cherokees, and loss of an insignificant fort on the Alta- 
maha, were about all the military movements of the first 
two years. The fact was, many denizens of Georgia did 
not know there was a war save from rumor. 

There was so little trouble in Georgia that the conven- 
tion had an uninterrupted session, and in 1777, in the city 
■of Savannah, adopted the first Constitution of the State of 
Georgia. It provided that (i) all persons who were elected 
representatives should be Protestants, and should have two 
hundred and fifty acres of land or two hundred and fifty 
pounds of other property. 2. That all voters must have ten 
pounds of property. 3. That delegates to the Continental 
Congress should be annually chosen. 4. The governor 
was to be chosen annually by the Assembly. 5. There 
should be a superior court in every county. 6. There 
should be a supreme court, consisting of a chief justice 
and three or more justices of the peace, in every county. 
7. Estates should not be entailed. 8. Schools should be 
established in every county, supported by the State. 9. 
No clergyman should be a member of the House of 

It proceeded at once to disestablish the Church of Eng- 


The Story of Georgia 

[Chap. III. 

land and to form the parishes into counties. These counties 
were all, save one, named in honor of those Englishmen 
who had stood by the colonies in Parliament. Christ 

Church was called Chatham ; St. Matthew's, Effingham; St. 
Philip's, Glynn; St. Andrew's, Camden; St. George's, Burke; 
St. Paul's, Richmond; the new county west of north and 
west of St. Paul's, Wilkes; St. John's, Liberty. 

Acting in accordance with this Constitution the Assem- 

1775-1782.] AND THE GEORGIA PeOPLE. 89 

bly proceeded to elect a governor, and, as we have seen, 
elected Jno. Adam Treutlen. 

The Constitution being adopted, the Legislature pro- 
ceeded to take severe measures against the Loyalists. Many 
of the worthiest men in the State were not in sympathy 
with these rebellious movements, and those who had ven- 
tured all had no disposition to show the laggards, or, 
worse, the enemies to the cause, any mercy. 

It could not have been expected that all the people, or 
even a majority of them, would fall in with the measures of 
the Whigs. There were many of the people sincerely at- 
tached to the British government. They were among the 
most intelligent and the wealthiest, and were not to be 
classed at all with those brigands who were afterward known 
as Tories. They were, however, very obnoxious to the 
patriots, and the Assembly adopted severe measures against 
them. They were pronounced guilty of high treason and 
banished from the State and their property confiscated. 
The list of these attainted ones is found inWatkins's Digest 
and in that of Marbury and Crawford. Those included in 
the act were among the very best people of the State; they 
were men who had done faithful work in and for the colony. 
They had occupied leading places and were often people of 
large means and some of them of great intelligence. While 
one is not disposed to detract from the noble group who 
espoused the cause of the colonies, it is too late now to 
throw odium on these who were denounced by this first act 
of ostracism as Loyalists. 

The names as given in the ofificial list are : Sir James 
Wright, R. Reed, Andrew Hewitt, Wm. Moore, Thos. Reed, 
Geo. Baillie, James Hume, Esq., John Bond Randall, Geo. 
Webb, Wm. John Yonge, Esq., H. Yonge, Sr., John Love, 
Charles W. McKennon, P. Yonge, Jos. Johnson, George 
Barry, Jas. Robertson, John Johnson, Alex Wylly, Jas. 
Brown, Wm. Love, Wm. Johnstone, D, Johnson, Chas. Hall, 

90 The Story of Georgia [Chap. hi. 

John Lightenstone, A. McGovvan, James Moore, John Mull- 
ryne, Wm. Sims, Wm. Colville, Josiah Tattnall, Sr., John 
Inglis, John Murray, Wm. McGilveray, P. Dean, Sir An- 
thony Stokes, J. J. Zubly, D.D., T. Johnson, John Wood, 
Geo. Kincaid, Henry Yonge, Jr., Chas. Wright, Geo. Bor- 
land, Jas. Downey, Thos. Eaton, John Graham, Wm. Frink- 
field, Jas. Ed. Powell, John Hume, Esq., Geo. McCauley, 
Gerymyn Wright, Jos. Farley, Esq., Jno. Jameson, Chas. 
Wright, Thomas Eaton, James Taylor, Geo. Finch, Philip 
Moore, Wm. Panton, John Simpson, Charles McCulloch. 

This act of confiscation and amercement was passed 
very prpmptly by the first Legislature, but before it could 
be carried into effect the tables were turned, for Governor 
Wright was restored to his place, and a retaliatory act of 
attainder was promptly passed, and we may well judge 
with great heartiness, against the prominent Whigs.* 

The campaign against St. Augustine was a pitiable fail- 
ure. There were great discord and contention in the Amer- 
ican ranks between the leading ofificers. A few small 
skirmishes, in one of which Colonel Elijah Clarke was 
wounded, and the British had the advantage; and then the 
Americans retired toward Savannah and abandoned the 
effort to invade Florida for the time. This was the first 
campaign of the Georgia forces, and its results were by no 
means encouraging. Then the British began to move 
northward, and the attempt to resist the advance of their 
forces in the latter part of 1778 was a gallant but fruitless one. 
At Midway church there was a sharp skirmish in which the 
brave General Screven was killed, and in which young James 
Jackson, then a lieutenant, distinguished himself; but the 
British troops reached Savannah, and after a sharp engage- 
ment, in which the Americans, badly handled, were routed, 
the city fell again into the hands of the British. 

The only relieving feature of the dark time was that 

'*" The list of the proscribed Whigs is given on pp. 93-95. 

1775-1782.] AND THE GEORGIA PEOPLE. 91 

Colonel John White, for whom White county was after- 
ward named, with a small body of militia succeeded in cap- 
turing, on the Ogeechee, five armed vessels and one hun- 
dred and five troops. 

The account of the capture of Savannah has been fully 
given by McCall, Bishop Stevens and Colonel Jones, and 
we have little more to do with it than to recognize the fact. 

As soon as Governor Wright was reinstated he called a 
Legislature together. The members of it were: 

Savannah — Samuel Farley, James Mossman, John Simp- 
son, and James Robertson. 

Little Ogeechee — Wm. Jones. 

Midway — ^Jno. Irvine, Jos. F"ox. 

Ebenezer — Alex. Wright, Basil Cowper, Nathaniel Hall. 

Acton — David Zubly. 

Wilmington — Philip Yonge. 

St. Andrew's — Robert Baillie. James Spalding. 

Frederica — Wm. Panton. 

St. David's — Sam'l Douglas. 

St. Patrick's — Robert Porteus. 

St. Thomas's — Simon Paterson. 

St. Mary's — Wm. Ross. 

Halifax and St. George's — Alex. Wylly, John Henderson. 

Of these, however, only fifteen qualified.* 

Although the war had continued for nearly four years 
from its first beginning at Concord and Lexington, there 
had been but little disturbance in upper Georgia up to this 
time. The Indians were somewhat menacing, but they 
were a considerable distance from the remotest settler. 
People from North Carolinaand Virginia came without fear 
into the new country above Augusta in the early years of 
the war. The people from Liberty and the counties below 
had some of them been forced to take refuge in parts of 
the State more remote from the coast, and there was little 

* Jones, Vol. 2, 419- 

92 The Story of Georgia [Chap. III. 

change in the condition of affairs in any other part of the 
State ; but in the latter part of 1778 and during the whole 
of 1779 war with all its horrors swept over Georgia. No 
part of it escaped, and no State save South Carolina was 
so devastated. 

After Savannah was captured and General Howe had 
retreated to South Carolina, the British column almost 
without resistance marched northward, and there was a 
battle or skirmish with a body of Tories near where 
Waynesboro now is. In this fight Twiggs, Few and 
Inman, Whig captains, won the field. McCall says that Cap- 
tain Inman, who was doubtless a kinsman of the captain of 
the same name who fell at Kings Mountain, killed three 
Tories with his own sword. This skirmish did not interfere 
with the progress of Colonel Campbell to Augusta. He 
captured that then little village without any difficulty, and 
then marched on through the upper part of Richmond 
county to the extreme limit of the white settlement at 
Fort Charlotte, where Petersburg stood and where the 
Broad river joins the Savannah. 

The few partizan troops in Georgia had gradually fallen 
back before the advancing British column until they 
formed a junction with a column of troops under Colonel 
Pickens, who had crossed the river from South Carolina. 
These troops pursued a body of Tories under command of 
Colonel Boyd, a gallant British officer, who had gone into 
the new county of Wilkes and taken position on Kettle 
creek, near Washington. There were eight hundred of 
them, and the troops under Pickens, with Dooly and Elijah 
Clarke, attacked Boyd and won. a decided victory.* 

* In the battle Boyd was mortally wounded. General Pickens treated him 
with great kindness, and when the Briton was in his last hours he gave his 
watch and other valuables to General Pickens to be sent to his wife. This the 
chivalric Irishman did. Years after, when Mrs. Boyd died, she bequeathed 
that watch to the family of General Pickens, and they have it now. 

1775-1782.] AND THE GEORGIA PeOPLE. 93 

The Tories in the up-country were now so disheartened 
by this defeat that they fled the country. The British 
troops then returned from the up-country and Augusta 
came once more into the hands of the Americans. General 
Ashe now crossed the Savannah river into Georgia and with 
quite a considerable force took position on Briar creek, in 
what is now Screven county. He was attacked by the 
British under General Prevost and signally defeated* and 
his army was broken to pieces. Many very severe things 
have been said of this brave and patriotic North Caro- 
linian. It is not my ofifice to exonerate, or condemn him. 
His case was brought at his instance before a court of 
inquiry, and he was fully vindicated from all other charges 
than the one of handling an army so large without proper 
caution. His forces were mere militia from different 
States. They were poorly equipped and badly disciplined. 
It is certain that the defeat was an entire and a crushing 
one, and destroyed the last vestige of hope that Georgia 
was likely to be recovered from the clutches of the British. 

When Governor Wright was placed in his seat again he 
called a meeting of a loyal assembly, and they at once 
retaliated on the Whigs by passing an act of attainder and 
confiscation. This roll of honor has been preserved and 
is herewith given. It aimed to take in all those who were 
obnoxious to the crown, and contained the names of sundry 
persons who were afterwards denounced by the Georgia 
Legislature of iy82 as Tories. These men were : 

John Houston, governor; Noble W. Jones, speaker; John Adam 
Treutlen, counselor; M, Sheftall; Lachlan Mcintosh, general; 
Wm. O'Bryan, treasurer; George Walton, member of Congress; 
John Wereat, counselor; Wm, Stephens, attorney; Ed Telfair, 
member of Congress; John McClure, major; Ed Davies, assem- 
blyman; John Clay, paymaster; Samuel Elbert, rebel general, Sa- 
vannah; Seth John Cuthbert, major, Darien; W. Holsendorf, coun- 

* For a very full account of this engagement see Jones, Val. 2, 348-352. 

94 The Story of Georgia [Chap. hi. 

selor, Darien; R. Howley, governor; George Galphin, superin- 
tendent Indian affairs, Silver Bluff; Andrew Williamson, rebel gen- 
eral; John White, colonel; N. Wade, treasurer; John Twiggs, col- 
onel, Richmond; Wm. Few, rebel counselor, Columbia; E. Lang- 
worthy, rebel delegate; Wm. Glascock, counselor, Richmond; 
Robert Walton, commissioner, Richmond; Jos. Wood, clerk; Pig- 
gin, colonel; Wm. Hornbay, distiller; Pierce Butler, rebel officer^ 
Darien; Jos. Wood, member of Congress; Rev. Wm. Piercy; Thos. 
Savage, planter; Thos. Stone, councilor; Benj. Andrew, councilor, 
Liberty; John Baker, colonel, Liberty; Wm. Baker, rebel officer, 
Liberty; Francis Brown, planter. Liberty; Nathan Brownson, 
member rebel Congress; John Hardy, captain; Thos. Morris, of- 
ficer; Thos. Maxwell, planter, Liberty; Jos. Woodruff; W. Le 
Conte, counselor. Liberty; P. Chambers, shopkeeper; T. Wash- 
ington, rebel officer, died in Charleston; C. F. Chevalier, coun- 
selor, French refugee; E. Maxwell, planter, Liberty; Thos. Max- 
well, mayor of Sunbury, Liberty; Wm. Gibbons, Jr., planter. Sa- 
vannah; Wm. Davies, officer, Burke; Jno. Graves, yeoman. Lib- 
erty; Charles Kent, counselor; Jno. Bacon, mariner. Liberty; N. 
Saxton, tavern-keeper; P. Lowe, officer; S. Spencer, mariner; Jno. 
Winn, Sr., planter, Liberty; Dev Jarrett, assemblyman, Richmond; 
S. West, gent.. Liberty; J. Dupont, planter; Frederick Pugh, 
planter; James Rae, planter, Richmond; James Martin, planter; 
John Martin, sheriff, Jefferson; Thos. Pace, officer, Richmond; 
Benj. Few, officer, Richmond; D. Wright, planter, Richmond; 
C. Bostick, shopkeeper, Richmond; L. Bostick, planter, Rich- 
mond; L. Marbury, officer, Richmond; Jno. Sharp, planter, Rich- 
mond; Jno. Mcintosh, colonel, Liberty; James Houston, surgeon, 
Chatham; James Habersham, Jr., merchant, Savannah; Jno. Hab- 
ersham, major. Savannah; John Milledge, assemblyman. Savan- 
nah; Levi Sheftall, butcher, Savannah; P. J. Cohen, shopkeeper, 
Savannah; Jno. Sutcliff, shopkeeper, Savannah; Jonathan Bryan, 
counselor. Savannah; John Spencer, officer. Savannah; Rev. Jno. 
Holmes, chaplain, Burke; Wm. Gibbons, Sr. , counselor, Savan- 
nah; Sheftall Sheftall, officer. Savannah; P. Minis, shopkeeper. 
Savannah; C. Pollock, shopkeeper, Savannah; R. Hamilton, at- 
torney. Savannah; Benj. Loyd, officer. Savannah; J. Alexander, 
officer, Savannah; John Jenkins, assemblyman; S. Stirk, secretary, 
Effingham; P. Densler, yeoman; H. Cuyler, officer, Savannah: 

1775-1782.] AND THE GEORGIA PeOPLE. y& 

Jos. Gibbons, assemblyman, Savannah; Ebenezer Piatt, shop- 
keeper, Savannah; M. Griffin, planter; P. De Vaux, gentn.. Sa- 
vannah; John Gibbons, vessel master. Savannah; John Smith, 
planter; Jos. Oswald, planter; Josiah Powell, planter; Samuel Sal- 
tus, planter, Liberty; John Sandeford, planter; Peter Tarling, 
officer, Savannah; Oliver Bowen, commodore. Savannah; Lyman 
Hall, member of Congress, Liberty; Andrew Moore, planter;. 
Joshua Inman, planter, Burke; John Dooly, colonel, Wilkes; Jno. 
Glen, chief justice. Savannah; Rich VVyley, member council, Sa- 
vannah; A. F. Brisbane, counselor, Savannah; Shem Butler, as- 
semblyman. Savannah; Jos. Habersham, colonel. Savannah; Jno. 
Stirk, colonel, Effingham; R. Demere, general, Darien; C. 
Odingsel, captain, Effingham; Wm. Peacock, counselor. Liberty; 
John Bradley, sea captain; Jos. Reynolds, bricklayer; Rudolph 
Strohaker, Chas. Cope, Lewis Cope, butchers, Savannah; Hep- 
worth Carter, captain, Jefferson; S. Johnson, butcher; Jas. Harris, 
planter; Henry Jones, colonel, Burke; Hugh McGee, captain; 
John Wilson, gent., Richmond; George Wyche, officer, Rich- 
mond; Wm. Candler, officer, Richmond; Z. Fenn, planter, Rich- 
mond; Wm. Mcintosh, colonel, Darien; Dr. Brydie, surgeon. 
Savannah; A. MacLean, merchant, Augusta; Pat Houston, baro- 
net. Savannah; McCarty Campbell, merchant, Augusta; James 
Gordon, planter; Jno. Kell, gent., Darien; John McLean, planter; 
John Snider, planter, Effingham; Jno. Elliott, officer; R. Swinney, 
yeoman; Hugh Middleton, officer; Joe Pray, mariner; J. McLean, 

The French allies, assisted by the Americans, made an 
effort to recapture Savannah in September, 1779. Count 
D'Estaing, the French commander, directed the move- 
ments. He was wounded, and Count Pulaski, a Pole, who 
was an American ally, was fatally wounded. The battle was 
a fierce one and the loss of the French and Americans con- 
siderable. The victory of the British was complete, and 
they were the masters of the whole of Georgia. 

Early in 1780 the British forces reoccupied Augusta and 
strengthened their works. They were attacked by Elijah 
Clarke and Major James Jackson, but they resisted the as- 

96 The Story of Georgia [Chap. III. 

sault successfully and the Americans suffered greatly ; and 
McCall says, what Brown indignantly denied,* that Brown 
was guilty of great cruelty to the helpless captives, hang- 
ing a large number. Brown admits there were some fifteen 
persons hung, but says they were atrocious criminals, who 
were hung for their murders and thefts. • He denied the 
charge of Ramsay that he had allowed any cruelty from 
the Indians, and denied that there was any committed. 
The fearful story of the massacre of the prisoners rest 
on McCall alone, who gives as his authority certain let- 
ters from some unnamed British ofificers, who he says 
gloated over it. General Lee makes no mention of it, 
and it is probably not true. Governor Wright says "thir- 
teen of the prisoners who broke their paroles and came 
against Augusta have been hanged, which I hope will have 
a very good effect. "■j- Governor Wright had reached Sa- 
vannah in July, 1779, and finally left there in the spring of 
1782. He had the title of governor-general, but his rule 
was after a short time almost entirely confined to the limits 
of the garisoned city of Savannah. Here his Rump Par- 
liament assembled and passed sundry laws that they could 
not execute. He was the most detested of the British 
officers, and the partizan troops took great pleasure in 
swooping down on his large estates and burning his barns. 
He says he had nine burned. He did his best to carry out 
the decree to confiscate rebel property, but he was handi- 
capped and thwarted on every hand. The tide of disaster 
to the Americans reached its flood when Count D'Estaing 
failed in his attack on Savannah. When Lincoln fled Corn- 
wallis swept victoriously over South Carolina, and Camp- 
bell subjugated all upper Georgia. In 1781 the tide began 
to turn and the staunch old governor began to see the end 
of his sway, and called lustily for help, which never came. 

* See White's Historical Collections, Richmond county. 
tSee Governor Wright's Letters, Georgia Historical Collections, Vol. 4. 

1775-1782,] AND THE GEORGIA PEOPLE. 97 

He was game to the last, and had regular sessions of the 
courts and the Assembly, and the lawmaking body gravely 
passed its sweeping acts and observed all the forms of a 
peaceful government, even though the governor could see 
from his upper windows the smoke of his burning barns, 
fired by that pestiferous young Englishman, James Jack- 
son, whose legion was making havoc in the loyal province. 
But this was in 1782. Nothing could have been blacker 
than the sky in Georgia from 1779 to 1781 was for the 

The State authorities had been driven from Savannah and 
Ebenezer to Augusta, and there was in the times of confu- 
sion no possibility for observing the forms of law. Trivial 
disputes divided the disorganized Whigs, and Wereat, Wal- 
ton, Wells, Howley and Heard acted as governors during 
one year. While Heard was acting as governor at Heard's 
fort, Howley, with his council, was in South Carolina. 
Everything was in confusion. John Milton had fled with 
the archives of the State to Charleston; thence he conveyed 
them to Newbern, N. C, and finally lodged them in Balti- 
more, from whence they were returned to Georgia several 
years after the war ended. Farming was impossible, cattle 
were driven off, and starvation was threatened to the up- 
country people. The great-hearted Clarke and Wm. Can- 
dler gathered the women and children and led them over 
the mountains to the Holston country, where they were fed 
till the war ended. 

But despite all these adversities the Whigs were unsub- 
dued, and again Augusta was attacked, and successfully. 
General Lee had come, and Clarke, Jackson and Dooly 
were there, and at last Brown surrendered to the Ameri- 
cans. There had been little quiet in Georgia from early in 
1779 to the spring of 1781, and the saddest feature of it all 
was the bitter strife between the Whigs and Tories. As 

98 The Story of Georgia [Chap, hi. 

we have seen, many of the best people in Georgia were 
Loyalists. They had every reason to love the king for whose- 
father the colony was named. Georgia had been the petted 
child of the crown. There was nothing England could do 
for her that she had not done. No young colony had ever 
been more prosperous than she had been since the crown 
had taken charge of the government, and the substantial 
old Englishmen who had always loved the king refused to 
follow the lead of these hotheads, as they called those 
who brought on the war; and now, after these disasters had. 
come in such succession to the Whigs, others doubted the 
wisdom of any further resistance and were disposed to ac- 
cept the terms proposed by the British, and thus increased, 
the number of the disaffected. Taking advantage of this 
turmoil, the lawless and rapacious on both sides began a 
war of unrelenting severity and of unbridled robbery. 
The Loyalist from principle and devotion to his parental; 
government and the Tory brigand were very different 
people, but they were soon classed together. The loyal 
Highlander, who was true to his king and was anxious to 
fight for him, and the quiet German who only wanted peace, 
were put in the same category with the robber Tory. It 
was a war to the knife. There was no pity on either side. 
John Dooly, the father of Judge Dooly, had been mur- 
dered in his own home by the Tories, and when nine Tories 
had been captured by a band of Wilkes county Whigs the 
furious sons of th e murdered man slaughtered them all.* 
Grierson was shot to death after his surrender in Augusta, 
and Patrick Carr in cool blood shot an ofificer to death as 
he was handing his sword to Colonel Jackson. There had 
been developed a number of brave partizan leaders. John 
Twiggs, a Marylander, was always in the field and never 
defeated in the fray. He came with his kinsmen, John and 
David Emanuel, and was a young mechanic. He was first 

* Gilmer's Georgians. 

1775 1782.] AND THE GEORGIA PeOPLE. 99 

a captain and rose to the post of major-general. He chas- 
tised the Cherokee Indians, and protected the frontier on 
the Ogeechee from the Creeks. He was nearly always in 
partizan service and proved himself a soldier of the highest 
merit. He became the founder of a distinguished family, 
who have been an honor to the State of his adoptioiT. 

Jno. Jones, who is generally found in connection with 
Twiggs, was the son of a wealthy and prominent man in Vir- 
ginia, and one of a number of brothers who came to 
Georgia just as the Revolution began. He and his brother 
James were members of the second Constitutional Conven- 
tion, and his brothers Abram and Seaborn were both 
famous for their mental ability and warm patriotism. 

Wm. Few, Benj. Few and Ignatius Few were three 
brothers who had settled in Columbia county just before 
the Revolution. They were of Welsh origin and were 
people of intelligence and wealth, and Wm. Few was, as 
we shall see, one of the leading men in civil life in 
Georgia. His brothers Ignatius and Benjamin were with 
Twiggs in his forays and stood by the struggling State 
till the hour of victory. From this family sprang the dis- 
tinguished lawyer and preacher, Dr. Ignatius A. Few, who 
was the first president of Emory College, and connected 
with them was Wm. Candler, who was among the most dis- 
tinguished men of this period, and one of the best edu- 
cated men then in St. Paul's parish. He was a native Irish- 
man, who came from Belfast, Ireland, to North Carolina. 
He came to St. Paul's parish as soon as it was opened for 
settlement, and was an officer of the militia under Sir 
James Wright. In common with all the citizens in the 
Wrightsboro neighborhood he was opposed to the first 
movements of the Liberty Boys, but when the war was 
fairly on he took his place with the Whigs. He was 
forced to flee to South Carolina, and there formed the 
refugees into a regiment of which he was the commander. 



The Story of Georgia 

[Chap. III. 

He was one of the escorts for the fleeing Georgians who 
went with Colonel Clarke to the Holston country. He 
did good service in the upper Carolina army after that, and 
as soon as the Georgians could again reach their homes, he 
came to his Georgia home and was selected as probate judge 
and was a member of the first Assembly after the war. 
He died in 1784. He was the progenitor of a very dis- 
tinguished family of Candlers and Fews, for his daughter 
was the mother of Ignatius A. Few, the distinguished 

founder of Emory College, and 
his descendants of the Candlers 
have been noted for their ability 
in almost every walk of life — 
distinguished as teachers, jurists, 
soldiers, congressmen and divines, 
and one of them is now governor j 
of the State of Georgia at this : 
writing (1900). : 

But perhaps the most active ! 
and intrepid and untiring man of | 
the partizan leaders, who was I 
long the idol of the common I 
people of Georgia, was the rugged Elijah Clarke. He 
was, if not a native born Scotch-Irishman, but once re- I 
moved from it. He came to Georgia on the first opening . 
of the upper country. It was a wild country then and j 
demanded strong men to subdue it. He had no wealth ' 
and no education, and no concern for the refinements of ' 
life. Born a freeman, he revolted at the idea of any re- ; 
straint, and, devoid of fear, he went into the struggle for , 
liberty with all ardor. He soon evinced the fact that he was | 
a born soldier, and at the battle of Kettle creek he showed 
his qualities as a commander. When the war was over he 
settled on a large estate granted him by the Legislature and 

Elijah Clarke. 

177.5-1782.] AND THE GEORGIA PeOPLE. 101 

Wilkes county. He was an impetuous, intrepid patriot. 
The Indians were troublesome and he was always ready for 
a foray. They invaded Georgia, instigated by McGilveray. 
Clarke pursued and defeated them. They were the last 
formidable body of Creeks who raided eastern Georgia. 

In 1792 the French Republic commissioned him a brig- 
adier, whose work was to invade Florida. He became in- 
volved in trouble with the State government in 1794 by 
making a settlement on the Indian lands, of which I speak 
more fully elsewhere. He died in 1799. 

Colonel Wm. Glascock, whose name appears so often in 
the history of Georgia, was a gentleman of culture and 
wealth, who settled an estate near Augusta before De 
Brahm made his first map, probably before 1760. He was 
an old man when the Revolution began, and his son 
Thomas was a lieutenant in the army in Virginia and after- 
ward in Georgia. Judge Glascock, for he was one of the 
first lay judges in Richmond county, was a vestryman of 
St. Paul's church, a trustee of Richmond Academy and of 
the State University. He died in Richmond in 1795, 

His son Thomas, who was afterward general of the 
militia, was not the General Glascock who was in active 
service in the Indian war of 18 18, and was a member of 
Congress. General Glascock the first was as intense a 
Federalist as his son Thomas was a pronounced Democrat. 
He was a bold operator in finances and left a large estate. 

Colonel Stephen Heard was one of a large family of 
seven, who came to Georgia and fixed their homes in the 
ceded lands. Here on the frontier a fort was built, known 
as Heard Fort. He was a gallant soldier, and being a 
man of more than usual education for those days, when the 
disasters of 1779 had driven the seat of government from 
Augusta, he was elected by those who fled to the West 
nominal governor. He was afterward prominent in public 
life in Georgia, being often in the legislative councils. 

102 The Story of Georgia [Chap. hi. 

The whole American cause in Georgia was in an ahnost 
hopeless condition, and the older colonies were seriously 
discussing some plan of settlement that would leave poor 
Georgia overrun and occupied by the British forces in the 
hands of the English Government. But brave George 
Walton and the members of the Continental Congress from 
Georgia united in an earnest remonstrance. It might have 
been of little avail, however, if France had not consented 
to interfere and if the tide of victory had not turned. 
This remonstrance of the Georgia delegation has been pre- 
served by Mr. Geo. W. Jones-De Renne, and is found in 
a pamphlet published by him and reproduced in White. 

After Augusta was evacuated the wandering State gov- 
ernment returned to its old quarters there, and Dr. Nathan 
Brownson, a Liberty county man who had been a member 
of the Continental Congress, was elected in August, 1781, 
as governor for the unexpired term. He held the office 
less than six months, and was succeeded by John Martin, 
whom Governor Wright called " Black Jack from the 

The legal capital was Savannah and the Legislature met 
at Ebenezer, the nearest point to it, and in July, 1782, after 
the city of Savannah was again in the hands of the Amer- 
icans, the Assembly adjourned to meet there. It was 
in so hilarious a mood when it reached its old quarters 
that it instructed Governor Martin to buy, for the use of 
the executive, the council and Assembly, twenty-three 
pounds of coffee, three hundred and seventy pounds of 
sugar, sixteen bushels of salt and forty-two gallons of rum. 

While the Assembly was in Augusta, before the evacua- 
tion of Savannah, a sweeping act of attainder and amerce- 
ment was passed. It would seem from the published 
record that this act, which was enacted in May, 1782, was 

1775-1782.] AND THE GEORGIA PeOPLE. 103 

passed in Savannah. As Savannah was not evacuated till 
July, it must have been passed in Augusta. It was the act 
•of five years before with the number of the denounced 
largely increased. Without giving the accused a hearing, 
merely on a suspicion of their disloyalty, or because of a 
rumor that they had not been true to the American cause, 
they were sentenced to the penalty of confiscation and 

All debts due British subjects were sequestered. All 
(bequests made to British subjects were taken by the State. 
The act was to go at once into effect. Many innocent 
persons were included in it, and for several years following 
there were numerous acts, passed for the relief of those 
iinvolved. There were, however, many cases of great hard- 
ship and injustice. 

Poor Sir Patrick Houston was attainted by Sir James 
Wright because he was a rebel, and then by this act be- 
cause he was a Loyalist. The same was true of sundry 
•others, and many who were found in this list aspersed as 
Tories are found afterward to be leading men in the coun- 
cils of the State. 

Special acts were passed for the relief of some of those 
mentioned, and as will be seen elsewhere, Josiah Tattnall, 
whose large estate was confiscated and who was banished 
from the State, twenty-five years after this act was passed, 
when his son was governor, was relieved of the penalties 
it inflicted. 

This act was passed in May, 1782. Those denounced 
in it were: 

Sir James Wright, Geo. Houston, Sir John Grahame, P. Delegal, 
Alex Wright, P. Delegal, Jr., Lachlan McGilveray, Jno. Glen, Jno. 
MuUryne, John Boyd Randal, Josiah Tattnall, Sr., Jas. Mossman, 
Basil Cowper, J. C. Lucina, Wm Telfair, N Hall, Alex McGown, 
T. Gibbons, Thos. Talraash, Jno. Fox, Samuel Douglas, John 

104 The Story of Georgia [Chap, hi 

Simpson, L. Johnson, Sr. , M. Stewart, L. Johnson, Jr., Jno. Sut- 
cliff, Wm. Johnson, B. Farley, Thos. Johnson, Thomas Rosse, 
Samuel Farley, J. J. Zubly, James Alexander, David Zubly, Jo- 
seph Spencer, Geo. Baillie, James Butler, Wm. Wylly, John 
Wood, Campbell Wylly, Robert Reid, John Starr, Levi Sheftall, 
Thomas Reid, James Harriot, Samuel Moore, R. Porteus, John 
Hubbard, Alex Creighton, Matthew Marshall, R. Moody, Joseph 
Marshall, Wm. Clark, Thomas Brown, James Chapman, Thomas 
Scott, Charles Watts, Wm. Frazer, Wm. Bosomworth, Timothy 
Hollingsworth, Sampson Williams, Val. Hollingsworth, G. Van- 
sant, Wm. McDonald, George Vansant, John McDonald, Daniel 
McGirth, John McDonald, James McGirth, Wm. Ross, George 
Proctor, Daniel McLeod, James Shivers, Alex Baillie, John Spear, 
Alex McDonald, John Marten, David Ross, John Frost, Daniel 
McDonald, Wm. Frost, Roderick Mcintosh, Cornelius Dunn, 
Angus Bacon, John Dunn, Thomas Young, John Pettinger, Simon 
Munroe, Robert Abrams, Simon Patterson, Joseph Raines, Wm. 
Lyford, Basil Cowper, Robert Baillie, Thomas Stringer, James 
Kitching, John Hopkins, Robert Kelsall, William Oldes, James 
Spalding, James Hume, Alex Inglis, Charles McDaniel, John 
Hume, James Brisbane, John McDonald, Thomas Goldsmith, 
William Miller, William Mcintosh, Major James Wright, William 
Moss, Donald McDonald, James Robertson, Philip Moore, Dan'l 
McLeod, Henry Young, William Panton, Daniel Mcintosh, Jos. 
Farley, Thomas Skinner, John Fowles, I. M. Tattnall, John Pol- 
son, Thomas Fleming, C. McKenney, Wm. Ross, Alex Thomp- 
son, Alex Ross, John Wesley, R. McCormick, Charles Wright, 
John Shave, Thomas Forbes, Robert Porteus, Richard Shave, 
'^Colonel Thomas Brown, Jermyn Wright, A. Carney, Jas. Thomp- 
son, Charles Wright, Wm. Davidson, William Irvine, John Mc- 
Gilveray, Charles Watts, George Kincaid, Tim Barnard, James 
Carson, William Knox, Isaac DeLeon, William Clark, John 
Murray, Peter PMwards, Sir Pat Houston, Geo. Cuthbert, Samuel 
Langley, John Martin, William McGilveray, Samuel Early, John 
WiUiams, Wm. Stephens, Roger Kelsal, R. Demere, Benjamin 
Wilson, Thomas Young, John Proctor, Peter Dean, Simon Mun- 
roe, George Fox, Henry Muirel, D. McGerth, Moses Kirkland, 
James Spalding, George Aarons, John Lightenstone, R, Baillie, 
Wm. Willis, Wm. Lyford, A. Creighton, Andrew Menery, An- 

1775-1782.] AND THE GEORGIA PeOPLE. 105 

drew Hewitt, Rory Mcintosh, Henry Cooper, John Johnson, 
Thomas Waters, William Calker, Henry Williams, Ed Corker, 
John Douglas, William Mangum, William White, James Douglas, 
Samuel Williams, Wm. Durgin, John O'Neal, James Hunt, Aving- 
ton Perkins, John Young, Daniel Philips, Robert Tilman, James 
Gordon, Wm. Young, Abram Wilkins, Math Moon, Samuel Wil- 
kins, Henry Sharp, Jonathan Wilkins, Jacob Sharp, Luke Binow, 
Cordy Sharp, Wm. Tidwell, Wm. McNott, Reuben Sherral, Saul 
Montgomery, James Gordon, Ed Pitcher, Benjamin Brantley, 
Colonel James Grierson, Henry Overstreet, Andrew Moore, Elias 
Bonnell, John Howard, Wm. Brown, Benj. Howard, Aug. Auden- 
tood, Thomas Howard, Absalom Wells, And. Robertson, John 
Ferguson, David Cameron, Wm. Reid, John Jameson,^ Thomas 
Beaty, Wm. Gates, Benj. Lanier, Robert Walsington, John 
Boykin, W. Tucker, Joshua Pearce, John McCormick, William 
Pierce, Paul McCormick, Philip Dill, R. Henderson, James Dill, 
Lew Mobley, John Goldwire, James Herbert, James Pace, James 
Moore, Rev. C. F. Triebner, Samuel Moore, S. Dampier, Joseph 
Cornells, P. Blythe, R. French, John Blythe, William Balfour, 
Samuel Cooper, Isaac Daronny, George Weekly, Isaac Eaton, 
W. Gruber, Andrew McNiely, Joseph Johnston, Jas. Robertson, 
John Johnson, James Lyle, Wm. Powell, Jos. Marshall, William 
Love, John Peg, John Love, John Brown, John Thomas. Thomas 
Rutherford, Daniel Russell, Cader Price, Matthew Lyle, John 
Hammett, Robert Miller, David Grimes, John Robertson, Philip 
Helverton, Daniel Howell, Wm. Hammond, Alex Carter, George 
Johnson, Thomas Scott, Richard Baillie, John Coppinger, Thos. 
Manson, Jacob Watson, Andrew Johnson, Charles Weatherford, 
John Furlow, James Jackson of Augusta, Wm. Johnson, Francis 
Folliot, Dr. Taylor, Simon Paterson, Thos. Polhill, Nath'l Pol- 
hill, John Maxwell, Samuel Kemp. 

It will be seen that this act was but the act of five years 
before repeated, with the addition of many other names. 
Many of those attainted were not Tories or Loyalists and 
escaped the penalties of the act, and many were pardoned 
by special statute, and in many cases while the father was 
a Loyalist the son was a Whig, and so the property involved 
did not really pass from the family. 

106 The Story of Georgia [Chap. hi. 

So much attention has been given to the Revolution by 
McCall, Stevens, and especially Jones, that there is nothing 
more to be said, and as their narratives are too extended to 
be repeated here I have contented myself with merely 
giving a short history. It will be seen the number engaged 
was not large. In all there were but about three thousand 
five hundred, and the battles fought, except that of Sa- 
vannah and Briar creek, of but little importance. There 
was much courage displayed and much self-sacrifice made, 
and no men could have been truer than the Georgians were 
to the cause of the Continental Congress. There were 
comparatively few arms-bearing men in Georgia when the 
Revolutionary war began, but of those few much the largest 
number were in the war. 

Up to 1779 everything in upper Georgia had been so 
peaceful that there was a steady flow of newcomers from 
North Carolina and Virginia. These years of war had, 
however, desolated all the new settlements, and when the 
war was over there was much to do to repair its ravages. 
There were cabins to rebuild and deserted fields to be once 
more brought into cultivation. The stock had been driven 
off, and the negroes had many of them escaped, but by 
1782 things began to settle down. 

The social condition of the Georgia people just after the 
Revolution was just such as might have been expected 
when everything had been overturned. The people had all 
suffered; none had escaped. From the Florida line to the 
limits of the Cherokee nation, and back to the last line of 
western settlements, the country had been ravaged. The 
hardships of the first frontier were reproduced in all the 
rural districts, and the villages, for there were no cities, 
were devastated. The first section to rally was the south- 
ern, and that too little known but remarkale man, John 
VVereat, who had a plantation on the neck in what is now 
Bryan county, loaded his flat-boats with rice and other 




supplies and had them poled up the Savannah river as far 
as he could go to relieve the destitution of the people of 
Wilkes and Richmond. The country, however, was so fer- 
tile that the pinching poverty of the people was soon at an 
•end, but it was several years before there was comfort, much 
less luxury. The coast country had been devastated, and 
for several years there was almost the same condition which 
-was found on the frontier. Our chapter of the cities will 
show the two villages, Savannah and Augusta, came out of 
the war almost in ruins. 

%^ i B E A » E H t« rfT 

/t)^ONE Spanish MIL 



ONE Spanish MILL 
ED DOLLAR, or I6t ,,r 
[iaive iherta/tn Cold «"")Ky 

ftluiM of COUCPESSi 
^0^ a/ Philadelphia! 
No'/rmbcr »9. 177 J. 

Continental Scrip. 

There was no money. Georgia scrip was worthless, and 
Continental money was about as bad. There was nothing 
for market when the ports were again open, except some 
peltry, and for some years there was but little commerce. 

Society was in a fearful state. When human life was 
held at so cheap a rate and when brutal courage was at 
such a premium; when men had no compunction about 
getting drunk, if rum could be had; when it was no rob- 
bery to take all a Tory had, and no murder to hang him; 
when children grew to manhood who had never spent a 
month in the schoolroom, and who had never heard a ser- 
mon, it was not to be expected that the morals of the 
people would be high, or their manners refined, or their in- 
telligence considerable. 

108 The Story of Georgia [Chap. III. 

There was much lawlessness; there were neither judges 
nor courts; but there was no lapse into real savagery. 
There was still much among the rudest of the people 
which was praiseworthy. There was a scorn for lying, 
duplicity, and above all, for cowardice. There was a 
boundless hospitality, a kindness to all comers except 
Tories, a chivalric treatment of women, a genuine sympathy 
for the weak, and an unquestioning faith in the truths of 

The up-country people, mainly newcomers from Vir- 
ginia and North Carolina, soon after the Revolution ended, 
took into their hands the government of the State. Many 
of the best people on the coast had been true to the crown 
and were now in exile, and those who stood for the cause 
of Independence were not numerous enough to overbalance 
the vote of the up-country. 

In the first census, in 1790, of the eighty-two thousand 
people, black and white in Georgia, thirty-two thousand 
were in Wilkes county alone, and perhaps not an adult 
among them had been born in Georgia. There was an ele- 
gance and high culture in the few gentlemen planters, law- 
yers, and counselors of the coast who had been members in 
the old Assembly, that was not to be found in the sturdy 
men who had come into the wilds of upper Georgia — men 
who could barely write their names, who had always lived in 
log cabins, and worked with their own hands, but who had 
fought the Tories at Kettle creek and rode with Clarke and 
Twiggs, and Candler and Dooly on many a foray, as well 
as men like Few and Candler, and Walton and Glascock, 
father and son, who were equals in all respects to any in 
Georgia. These were prominent in the up-country at the 
end of the war, but the ruling element was still on the 

There had been no possibility of carrying on any schools^ 
and those children who grew up during the war never en- 


AND THE Georgia People. 


tered a schoolroom. The larger number of persons from 
the better classes who could not write, who were found in 
Georgia in the early years of the nineteenth century, both 
men and women, grew up at this time, when there were 
neither primary schools nor academies. 


Seal of the State of Georgia. 

The war was virtually at an end in the early part of 
1782, and with a devastated territory, an empty treasury, 
and a heavy debt, with an imperfect constitution and a dis- 
cordant people, Georgia began her career as a free and in- 
•dependent State. There hrfd been seventeen thousand 
white people when the war began,* and probably, despite 
the ravages of the war, there were as many at its close. 

There was from 1777 to 1783 almost a complete suspen- 
sion of all the religious work in the new State, The 
Rector of the Episcopal church in Savannah was a Loyalist. 
Mr. Triebner, the Lutheran, was a Loyalist and a fugitive, 
and the church in Ebenezer had been used as a stable. 
The Reformed Presbyterian minister in Burke, now Jeffer- 

* Jones. 

110 The Story of Georgia [Chap. in. 

son county, was a Loyalist, and had fled the country. St. 
Paul's church in Augusta and the church at Midway had 
been burned. The Baptist preachers, Mr. Marshall, Mr. 
Bottsford, and Mr. Mercer, had been driven from the State, 
and there was no resumption of regular religious work until 
after the war had nearly ended. 

The Quakers had been so persecuted in Georgia by the 
Whigs that they left the State and never returned to it. 


AND THE Georgia People. Ill 


1782 TO 1789. 

Georgia a Free and Independent State — Governors Houston, Elbert. Hand- 
ley, Telfair, and Mathews — Gloomy State of Affairs — College Projected — 
The Decision to Remove Capitol to Louisville — The State Government 
Temporarily in Augusta — Military Land Grants Issued — Rapid Settlement 
of the State — Indian Troubles — Oconee War— Paper Money Issued — Call 
for a Convention to Form a more Perfect Union — Delegates Appointed — 
Ratification of the Constitution of the United States — State Conventions — 
History of the Counties of Chatham, Effingham, Burke, Richmond, Liberty, 
Camden, Wilkes, Franklin, Washington, and Greene. 

Authorities : Stevens, Jones, Sherwood, White's Statistics and Historical Col- 
lections, Chappell's Pamphlets, Watkins's Digest Georgia Laws, Marbury& 
Crawford's Digest, Madison Papers, Gilmer's Georgians, Files of the Geor- 
gia Gazette, and Personal Researches into County Records. 

The war was virtually at an end when Cornwallis surren- 
dered at Yorktown, and the last British soldier had been re- 
moved from Georgia and the State government fully rees- 
tablished for a year before the news reached Savannah that 
Georgia was recognized as a free and independent State. 
When this news reached Savannah, John Houston, whO' 
had been one of the four who called the first Revolutionary 
meeting, was governor, and the city in which that meeting 
was held was the recognized capital of the new State. 

After Governor Houston's term expired, General Samuel 
Elbert, whom we have seen was the lieutenant-colonel of 
the first battalion of Georgia troops, and who was so true 
a soldier to the end of the war, was elected by an almost 
unanimous vote of the Legislature as governor. In 1786 
Edward Telfair, the wise and wealthy Scotchman who had 
been so faithful to the cause of independence, succeeded 
him. Governor Telfair was followed by General George 

112 The Story of Georgia [Chap. IV. 

Mathews. General George Mathews, while not born in 
Ireland, was a full-blooded Scotch-Irishman. He was born 
in Augusta county, Va., in the days when Indian forays 
were fearfully common. He became an Indian fighter in 
his boyhood, and distinguished himself at the battle of Point 
Pleasant. When the Revolutionary war began he threw 
himself ardently into it. He was made colonel of a regi- 
ment, and was at Germantown and Brandywine. He was 
wounded, captured, and then exchanged. He came to 
Georgia with some Virginia troops toward the close of the 
war. He was a shrewd speculator, and he bought at a bar- 
gain a claim to a large body of land known as the Goose 
Pond tract on Broad river and decided to move to it.* He 
brought in the famous Broad river settlers, of whom we 
shall hear more. He was a rough, quick-tempered, unedu- 
cated Irishman, thoroughly fearless and impetuous, and 
sundry stories are told of his want of culture, of his impet- 
uous temper, which are not sufficiently authentic for these 
pages. He was a man of strong common sense and ster- 
ling honesty of purpose. 

General Jackson was elected to succeed Governor Math- 
ews, but declined the office, and Governor Handley, an 
Englishman likewise, was chosen and served the term. 
The condition of things was far from cheerful. The sup- 
plies of food were insufficient, there was no money in the 
State treasury, and there were heavy debts to be provided 
for. Many of the best citizens of the State were proscribed 
and were in exile, and their property ordered to the block. 
There was discord in the public councils. The Legislature 
was unwilling to comply with Governor Houston's urgent 
request that it should levy a tax for what he said were im- 
perative demands, but gloomy as matters were a body of 
intelligent men secured from the Legislature a grant of ten 

* Gilmer. 

1782-1789.] AND THE GEORGIA PeOPLE. 113 

thousand acres of land for a college, to be located at some 
place to be afterward selected. 

The Legislature had its sessions in Savannah from July, 
1783, to the spring of 1786, when an act was passed pro- 
viding for the selection of a place for the capital, which 
should be in twenty miles of Galphin's old town, which 
place should be called Louisville, but in the meantime the 
Legislature would meet in Augusta. The times even then 
were so disturbed that a guard was called for from each 
county along the route to see the body to its destination. 

The State had much land and but a few people, and 
many of those who had been faithful to the cause of inde- 
pendence were now to receive a generous grant as a reward 
for their military services. In addition to these grants, in 
order to secure immigration, the State proposed to all new- 
comers to give them from two hundred to five hundred 
acres of land as headrights. Of these military grants there 
were five different classes of warrants issued. 

First. Those citizens who bravely remained in Georgia 
during the struggle and served in the militia when called 
for were to have two hundred and fifty acres. There 
were 2,923 persons who received grants under this head. 

Second. Refugees who fled the State, but fought in the 
American army ; there were six hundred and ninety-four 
of these. 

Third. Those who were not in active service, but were en- 
rolled as minute-men ; there were five hundred and fifty- 
five of these. 

Fourth. Citizens of other States who came to the help of 
Georgia as continental soldiers ; there were two hundred of 

Fifth. To those who had served in the navy; to these 
only nine land-warrants were issued.* 

* See Appendix for full list of grantees. 


114 The Story of Georgia [Chap. iv.. 

These military warrants were mainly to be located in the- 
newly opened territory which was included in the two im- 
mense counties of Washington and Franklin. In addition 
to these grants, which were to classes, there were special 
grants made to certain individuals, one to General Greene 
of the Mulberry Grove property, near Savannah; one to 
General Wayne, and twenty thousand acres ganted to Count 

The headrights were many of them granted before the 
Revolution by the colonial government, but many more 
were granted to the newcomers as soon as the war ended,. 
A land-ofifice was opened in Augusta and Bishop Stevens,, 
who had access to the private papers of Mr. Jos. Haber- 
sham, who was one of the comm.issioners for issuing these 
warrants, gives a somewhat lively picture of the disorder- 
in the land-office when the warrants were called for. The 
larger number of claimants were from the newly settled, 
lands of now Columbia and Wilkes, who, becoming impa- 
tient at the necessarily slow progress of the commissioners, 
and perhaps a little too much under the influence of the 
tafia so abundant in Augusta, broke into the office and. 
snatched the warrants from the table and made off with 
them. Many of these abstracted warrants were returned,, 
and many were not recognized. 

When the war ended, as v/e have seen, the counties in: 
\W^ Georgia were Camden, Glynn, Liberty, Chatham, Efifing- 
hamT^Burkey-nd Richmond, and to these were now added 
Franklin and Washington, which included the new ceded 

lands. UjvV- 

Up to the war of the Revolution there had been no seri- 
ous disturbance with any of the Indians in Georgia. The 
ruling tribes were Creeks and Cherokees and in that contest 

* This large estate was given by the count to a relative who married Colonel 
De Lapraier of the French army. His descendants still own a part of the- 

1782-1789.] AND THE GEORGIA PEOPLE. 115 

both sided with the English, and against the Cherokees an 
expedition under Colonel Twiggs had been sent out early 
in the war. As soon as peace came the Georgians took 
advantage of the victory won and coerced the Creeks into 
a cession of all the land which lay between the Ogeechee 
and Oconee rivers, and the Cherokees into the ceding of 
a considerable strip of their territory, and this new country 
was now divided into two great counties, Franklin and 
Washington. The Creeks were by no means reconciled to 
this seizure of their land and went upon the war-path, and 
there were frequent raids into the country taken possession 
of by the whites. 

For several years the war known as the Oconee war raged 
between the Creeks and the Georgians. Forts and blockhouses 
were built in all the border counties, and the Creeks made 
a formidable invasion into the country east of the Oconee, 
and Elijah Clarke, with his forces, had a sharp fight with 
them as they retreated in what is now Walton county, at a 
place known now as Jack's creek, said to have been so called 
in honor of the courage of young Jack Clarke, who distin- 
guished himself in the battle (Chappel). The Creeks gave 
the early settlers a great deal of trouble and the new village 
of Greensborough was burned by them. These troubles 
continued for nearly ten years, and after the formation of 
the Federal Union the United States troops garrisoned the 
frontier until the final settlement made by the general 
government, after which there was peace for near twenty 

Georgia was now an independent State and as the land 
was given away, immigration came in a rapid tide into all 
parts now opened for settlement. The immigrants were of 
the same class we have already seen as coming into Burke 
and Richmond. They were mainly from Virginia, North 
Carolina and Maryland. Some of them were men of prop- 
erty, but the larger number were in very humble circum- 

116 The Story of Georgia tChap. IV. 

stances. They began life in a very primitive way. The 
houses were almost universally at this time of logs, and 
nearly all consisted of but a single room. There were as 
yet few stores in which merchandise could be bought; there 
were but few sawmills and even grist-mills were few. In 
the low-country rice and corn were the staple articles, and 
they were prepared for the table by being beat in a mortar, 
and in the up-country, where ashes were abundant, the corn 
was made into lye hominy. There was along the whole 
frontier, from Camden to Franklin, a constant menace from 
the Indians, and men, as in the early days of New England, 
were required to take their arms with them to church ser- 
vices. Troops of horsemen were organized in every county 
to be ready at any moment to pursue the marauding bands 
of savages who were likely to dash into the remote settle- 
ment to rob and murder. 

We have seen in other chapters of the coming of the 
different churches into the province, and now we have the 
coming of the first Arminian Methodists into the State. In 
the year 1786 John Major and Thomas Humphries, two 
itinerant preachers from Virginia, at the instance of Bishop 
Francis Asbury, came into Georgia. The Methodists dif- 
fered from any other denomination in some of their doc- 
trines and most of their usages. These first preachers were 
from Virginia, and the good Virginians who had been 
brought up in the church of England found in these itine- 
rants, preachers who were nearer akin to them than any 
other, and they gave them a cordial welcome to their homes, 
and many of them adhered to the societies the preachers 
established. The itinerants had no churches, but went from 
cabin to cabin and held services every day in the week 
except on Monday. The preachers were peculiar men in 
every way. They dressed like Quakers, in straight-breasted 
cutaway coats of brown homespun, wore white cravats and 
broad-brimmed hats. They sang lustily, preached boister- 

1782-1789.] AND TUB Georgia People. 117 

ously, wept and stormed and exhorted, and were intensely 
in earnest. They preached a full and free gospel and a 
salvation possible to all men ; they went everywhere and 
success attended their efforts. They began their work in 
Wilkes and extended it into Burke, and gathered quite a 
membership during their first year. 

In 1788 there came to Georgia a Methodist preacher who 
was to have much to do with the future of the State, and 
whose descendants have been among its most honored 
children. This was Hope Hull, born in Worcester, Md.; he 
was a soldier in the Revolution before he was of age, and a 
Methodist preacher when he was twenty-one years old. 
He was a man of handsome presence, of fine intellect, of 
fluent and eloquent speech, and of broad views. After he 
located in Wilkes county he established the first high school 
in the county and employed a Presbyterian minister to 
teach it. He was a trustee of the State University and an 
ardent friend of that institution from its foundation.* 

There was now in Georgia one organized Episcopal church, 
the one in Savannah, and several organized Presbyterian 
churches in Burke and Wilkes and one in Savannah, a Luth- 
eran church in Effingham, and a Congregational church in 
Liberty. There were few church buildings, and in the rural 
districts religious services were held in private houses. 

During Governor Telfair's term business began to revive 
and there was a crying need for a circulating medium. He 
addressed himself to the work of providing a currency for 
the State which would be trustworthy and hoped he had 
accomplished it by adopting, with certain careful restric- 
tions, the usual resource of States, issuing promises to pay 
and making them a legal tender. The result was, as it has 
always been, the paper currency was first at par and then 

* In my chapter on Rel gion in the Colony and the State I have given a 
fuller account of Methodism in Georgia. 

118 The Story of Georgia [Chap. iv. 

declined more and more rapidly until it was worth only four 
to one. 

During his governorship Nathan Brownson, Wm, Few 
and Hugh Lawson were commissioned to select a place for 
a State capitol and to provide for the erection of a building 
for the various departments and for establishing a State 
university. The capitol and university were to be in twenty 
miles of Galphin's old town, and the town was to be called 
Louisville, and ;^2,000 from the sale of confiscated property 
was to be appropriated for the building of the new State 
house. The place was selected, the town was laid out and 
in 1795 it was made the seat of government and continued 
such for nearly ten years, when the capitol was removed to 

The confederated government had secured large loans, 
based upon its confidence that the States would cede to the 
government their wild lands. This had been done by all 
of them except Georgia and North Carolina. The leading 
people in the new State were newcomers, mainly from 
Virginia. The State was young and feeble and penniless. 
A large debt which it could not pay was due to the Con- 
federacy, and it had only this land to pay it with. It 
made some rather hard stipulations, which the confederated 
States thought were too rigorous, and it refused to accept 
the State's tender on such grounds, and the cession was 
not made. 

The question of title, which was raised between Georgia 
and South Carolina as to the title of Georgia to the 
almost unknown land beyond the Chattahoochee, and as 
to where the eastern boundary of the new State really 
was, had been settled at Beaufort by commissioners in 
1785, and so the free and independent State had a clear 
title, save as it was menaced by the Spanish claims, to all 
the territory included now in Georgia, Alabama and Mis- 


AND THE Georgia People. 119 

The very unsatisfactory condition of things for the five 
years after the Revolution, when the old confederation was 
going to pieces and the Continental Congress had lost all 
hold on the various States, led the leaders of Georgia to 
fall readily into the scheme for a convention of all the 
States to form a new constitution and a closer union, and 
during Governor Mathews's time delegates were appointed 
to go to Philadelphia and take seats in the convention. 

Wm. Few, Abraham Baldwin, Wm. Pierce, Wm. Houston, 
Georofe Walton and Nathaniel Pendleton were selected as 
the delegates. Of these Few, Baldwin and Houston took 
part in the convention, but Mr. Few was the only one of 
the delegation who signed the original Constitution.* 
When the Assembly in Philadelphia adjourned •!• the Geor- 
gia Legislature called for a convention to meet in Augusta 
and ratify the new instrument, and on the second day of 
January, 1788, this convention did "fully and cordially 
assent to ratify and adopt the proposed Constitution." 

The convention which ratified the Constitution of the 
United States and made the first draft of a new Consti- 
tution for the State, which was adopted in May of the next 
year, consisted of : 

John Wereat, Wm. Few, Jas. McNeal, Wm. Stephens, 
Jos. Habersham, Edward Telfair, H. Todd, Geo. Mathews, 
Florence Sullivan, John King, James Powell, Jno. Elliot, 
James Maxwell, George Handley, Christopher Hilary, J. 
Milton, Jared Irwin, Jno. Rutherford, Joshua Williams, Jos. 
Carmichael, Henry Carr, Jas. Seagrove, Jas. Webb, Henry 
Osborne, Robert Christmas. 

There was no hesitation, and no stipulations were made 
by Georgia, and no debate concerning the propriety of rati- 
fication was engaged in. Georgia was the fourth State to 

* See Madison Papers. 
f Appendix. 

120 The Story of Georgia [Chap. iv. 

other States, as it was in October, she became a member of 
the Federal Union. There was no submission of this rati- 
fication to a popular vote, but the free and sovereign State, 
acti?ig as a State in convention, without any dream that she 
was surrendering anything more than was delegated to the 
general government, became one of a Federal Union of 
thirteen sovereign States. 

It is now my purpose to give a bird's-eye view of each 
county as it was established, giving a larger amount of 
attention to the parent counties, and not confining myself 
to the limits of time I have fixed to the general history, 
but bringing the history of the counties as such to the 
present time (1900), avoiding, however, all allusion to the 
part borne by the county during the great war between the 


This county was named for the Earl of Chatham, and 
was the earliest settled of any portion of Georgia. It has 
the Savannah river on the east and the Ogeechee on the 
south and west and includes the islands adjacent. On 
these two rivers are some fine rice lands, but away from 
the rivers the land is mainly marsh or sterile pine woods. 
The agricultural resources of the county apart from its 
rice lands are not considerable. The river bottoms upon 
which rice was grown were magnificent estates before the 
war ; and even since it ended, although the slaves have 
been freed, there have been some very extensive planta- 
tions, and though some of them have been worked for over 
a century they are still planted profitably. Many of these 
rice plantations have, however, been abandoned, and where 
there were in the beginning of the century well-kept fields 
there are now only marshes. Some of these old rice plan- 
tations are now market gardens, where great quantities of 
early vegetables are grown for the northern markets; but 

1782-1789.] AND THE GEORGIA PeOPLE. 121 

many of these fine old places are simply abandoned. 
Raising vegetables for the northern markets is carried on in 
the county very extensively. Some of the swamps around 
the city have been drained by canals and ditches and there 
is much land now arable which was waste, and many of the 
freedmen have gone into these low places and bought 
small tracts and now make a scanty living by planting 
small crops. 

There are some famous plantations near the city. Mul- 
berry Grove, where General Greene died, is a market gar- 
den. Bonaventure, where the Tattnall family had their 
home, is now a famous cemetery. The Hermitage, the 
seat of the McCallisters, with its magnificent avenue of 
live-oaks; and Beaulieu, the seat of Governor Stephens; 
Whitefield's Bethesda Orphanage ; Jasper Springs, where 
Jasper captured the British guards and released the pris- 
oners, are places of interest in the county. The history of 
Chatham is so interwoven with the early history of Georgia, 
and especially that of Savannah, which is given at length 
elsewhere, that it is not necessary to say much of the 
county in this place. 

There is a comparatively small white population outside 
of the city and the various suburban villages. Thunder- 
bolt, Tybee, Isle of Hope and White Bluff are on the sea- 
shore, and Pooler and Monteith and a few other small vil- 
lages on the lines of railway. There are few schools and 
churches save for the negroes in the country districts 
around Savannah, but the villages are well supplied. In 
1790 there were only twenty-five hundred white people in 
the county. Savannah included, but there were eight thou- 
sand two hundred slaves on the plantations and the sea 
islands. The sea islands* were famous for the homes of 
planters who resided in the city during the winter and on 
their estates during the summer. They were not adapted 
to the production of rice and were devoted at their first 

122 The Story of Georgia [Chap. IV. 

settlement to indigo culture and stock-raising. They were 
congenial homes for the Africans who were imported in 
large numbers and who, when they were placed on the 
islands, rapidly increased. Before the Revolution there was 
much wealth and much luxurious living on these islands. 
The planters, after they gave up indigo culture, began to 
raise sea-island cotton, and as this staple was very high in 
price, they had large returns from their crops and increased 
in wealth very rapidly. The sea island planter in Chatham 
and along the Georgia coast presented much the same 
features as is pictured elsewhere in people of the wealthy 
class of planters. Their situation was an exposed one, 
and they suffered during the Revolution and the war of 
i8i2. They rallied from these losses at those times, but 
from the disasters of the war between the States there was 
no recovery, and the islands are now largely peopled by 
negro tenants who make their living by fishing and oyster- 


As we have seen elsewhere this county, which took the 
place of St. Matthew's parish, was settled mainly by Ger- 
mans, and in the account of the German settlement we have 
already had a picture of the natural features of the county 
and of the people. In common with all the parts of the 
tide-water country this county suffered greatly during the 
Revolution. The bulk of the people, speaking only the 
German tongue and concerned only about their small farms 
and domestic interests, knew little and cared less about the 
issue between the colonists and England. Most of them 
desired to hold a neutral place. Some of them, however, 
were loyal to the king, and some of them were sympa- 
thizers with the colonies, and one of them, John Adam 
Treutlen, was a Georgia governor, and pronounced a rebel 
by Governor Wright. They were thus sadly divided and 

1782-17S9.] AND THE GEORGIA PeOPLE. 128 

suffered on all sides. Their villages were occupied at dif- 
ferent times by both armies, and their church was desecrated 
and defaced, for though their pastor took the side of the 
British and invited the English troops to Ebenezer, the 
rude soldiers turned their revered church into a stable. 
The whole country was desolated by the repeated raids of 
the soldiers on both sides, but the people were industrious 
and thrifty, and after peace came the herds of cattle on 
which they largely relied were soon replenished. The 
church was at once repaired, their schools were reopened, 
and the fields of the farmer put once more into cultivation, 
and though for the two years after the close of the war they 
had no pastor, they then secured a pious man from Ger- 
many to take the place. In 1790 there were 2,420 people 
in the county, of which only seven hundred and fifty were 
slaves, and in 1830, fortv years afterward, there were only 
five hundred more inhabitants. The proximity of the 
county to Savannah, and its want of any commercial ad- 
vantages, prevented its having towns of any considerable 
size, and yet gave it a fine position as a place for gardens 
and dairies. Its climate was excellent, and when the Cen- 
tral railroad traversed it some residence villages sprang up, 
and Guyton and Marlow have become favorite places for 
the country homes of Savannah merchants. 

Springfield is the county site, and while it is a small vil- 
lage, it has been famous in days gone by for its excellent 
schools and the high character of its people. 

Ebenezer, of which we have so often spoken, which was 
at one time a thrifty village, has long since ceased to be a 
place of any importance, and is now unpeopled. The old 
Lutheran church, famous as the first church in Geor^Tia, 
still stands and has a congregation and a pastor. 

The county, being originally peopled by Germans, has 
many of their descendants still in it. They are good 
people, honest, thrifty and religious. There are Luther- 


The Story of Georgia 

[Chap. IV. 

ans and Baptists and Methodists in the county, and good 
churches and good schools are found in all parts of it. 

There are few sections in Georgia where there is a 
better type of plain, good, contented, pious people than in 
Effingham, and their descendants are found in all sections 
of the low-country of Georgia, and wherever found are 
recognized as among the worthiest of the people.* 



Richmond was named in honor of the Duke of Rich- 
mond. It was originally- 
St. Paul's parish, and 
when it was made in, 
1777 it included all of 
Columbia and parts of 
McDuffie, Warren and 
Jefferson counties. As 
these counties will come 
under our survey in the 
proper time, it will only 
be necessary now to 
give attention to Rich- 
mond as it stands. 

In the early parts of 
this history and in the 
chapter on Augusta 
nearly everything of 
interest connected with this county, up to the Revolution, 
has been narrated, and in the historv of Augusta much of 
the after revolutionary history is given. Richmond is in 
the main a county of rather sterile pine woods, save on 
some of the creeks and on the river, where the land is a rich, 
alluvial which at one time was very productive. Before 

St. Paul's Church. 

* In the first chapter of this History, in the account of the German settle- 
ment, the early history of these people is to be found. 


AND THE Georgia People. 125 

the lands on the river above Augusta were cleared of their 
forests the river-bed was deeper and the stream more rapid 
than it is at this day, and the freshets which come now 
almost annually were infrequent a hundred and twenty 
years ago. Then these lands were considered very valua- 
ble, and wealthy planters had large plantations in the 
swamps which brought a rich return. They are now turned 
largely into hay farms and are still valuable. The pine 
lands were for a long time esteemed only for their timber 
and as a range for cattle. There was some of this land, 
however, which had a good subsoil of clay which was, when 
manured, quite productive, and while it was not esteemed 
as first-class land, it repaid the tiller's toil, and even much 
of the land which was very sterile when well fertilized 
produced fine crops of melons and vegetables. 

The rural population of Richmond, save on the river 
and on Rae's creek, were plain, poor people who ran small 
farms. There was quite a settlement of well-to-do Vir- 
ginians some distance north of Augusta which was called 
Bedford, probably after the Virginia county from which 
they emigrated, and quite a settlement of Burke county 
planters in the healthy pine woods near what is now Heph- 
zibah. A college was projected in the early part of the cen- 
tury, called Mt. Enon, which was to be located in the 
southern part of this county and opened as a Baptist col- 
lege; but a charter was refused and it became the first 
Baptist high school in Georgia. 

There was a fine water-power on the creeks, which, rising 
in the pine hills, ran into the river; and one of the most 
successful country factories was built on Spirit creek long 
before the war, and another known as Schley's, at Bellevue 
where the shrewd old governor had his country home. 

The building of the railway from Augusta to Sanders- 
ville opened up the lower part of the county, and there is 

126 The Story of Georgia [Chap. IV. 

a considerable village known as Hephzibah, where the 
Baptists have a school. 

The county had been well supplied with Methodist and 
Baptist churches, and the school facilities had been mod- 
erately good; but the establishment of the public school 
system after the war provided all classes with excellent 
educational advantages. 

Among the oldest Methodist and Baptist churches in 
upper Georgia are the Baptist church at Hephzibah, formerly 
Mt. Enon, and the Methodist church at Liberty, which an- 
tedate the beginning of this century. 

Among the industries which have made the county 
famous the celebrated nurseries of the Berckmans are 
very notable. 

Dr. Berckmans, an intelligent German, was struck with 
the great advantages of the climate and soil near Augusta 
for the raising of fruit trees and flowers, and he began his 
nurseries on a very extensive scale over forty years ago, 
and from them the most beautiful flowers and the finest 
fruits have been distributed throughout the land. 

The fine climate of the Sand Hills, which stretch 
through the northwest part of the county, has invited sum- 
mer residents, who have beautiful homes, chiefly at Grove- 
town, sixteen miles from the city. 

The county is so linked with the city that it is not pos- 
sible to separate them, and I shall in a future chapter de- 
vote a considerable space to Augusta, and as Columbia 
county includes much of what was historic Richmond, it is 
not needful to say more of the county as it is at present. 


Burke county was formed from St. George's parish, and 
was named Burke in honor of Edmund Burke, the great 
statesman who stood so firmly for the colonies. 

There were doubtless a few whites in this section before 

1782-1789.] AND THE GEORGIA PeOPLE. 127 

Oglethorpe came, for the Indians who lived in this county 
complained to Governor Glen of South Carolina, that the 
whites, among whom were John Jones and John Whitehead, 
were making inroads on their hunting-grounds. It is cer- 
tain that George Galphin had a trading-station at Galphin- 
ton, on the Ogeechee, when Fort Augusta took the place 
of Fort Moore in 1733. The settlements in South Carolina 
reached to the Savannah river, and it is hardly probable 
they stopped there. Before the parish of St. George was 
laid out the borough of Halifax sent two representatives to 
the Assembly of Governor Reynolds, and in the grants 
made by Governor Reynolds are sundry grants to persons 
who were found in Burke, Jefferson and Screven counties. 
After St. George's parish was made Burke county, it gave 
off Jefferson and Screven, leaving it still a large county. 
It was at its first settlement a county of wonderful fertility 
and sufficiently undulating to secure good drainage, except 
where there were deep depressions and ponds. It had in 
it no very lofty hills, and being possessed of a tenacious 
limestone soil, the rains and floods left it uninjured. 

The Savannah was on the east, the Ogeechee on the west, 
and the great Briar creek traversed the whole county. Bark, 
Camp, Buckhead, Rocky, Mcintosh, Beaverdam, and Wal- 
nut creeks were all considerable streams. Along the banks 
of each was a large strip of oak and hickory land. The 
great pine forests, valued only for pasturage, filled up the 
area unoccupied by the oak and hickory forests. There 
was beneath the surface an inexhaustible deposit of rotten 
limestone which now and then cropped out on the surface. 
The land was very productive, and there came into it as 
soon as it was opened for settlement great crowds of im- 

On the Ogeechee river, and on the various creeks flow- 
ing into it, as well as on the Savannah and its tributaries, 
there were many settlers before the Revolution. There 

128 The Story of GEORaiA [Chap. IV. 

was in 1774 six justices of the peace in the parish, and 
where Waynesboro now is there was a prison known as 
Burke jail. 

In 1774, when the Liberty Boys began their rebellion, as 
it was regarded by Governor Wright, he received a very 
decided protest against their course from this parish, among 
others, and we find the names of: 

George Wells, afterward lieutenant-governor; Peter Shand, 
James Doyle, S. Barrow, Dan'l Thomas, Gideon Thomas, John 
Thomas, Robert Henderson, F. L. Frier, John Red, James 
Warren, Jas. Williams, Sam'l Red, Alex. Berryhill, Ed. Hill, 
Charles Williams, Thos. Pennington, John Rogers, John Ander- 
son, John Catlett, David Green, Jno. Pettigrew, Wm. Catlett, Jno. 
Rotten, Jno. Frier, James Davis, Wm. Milner, Elijah Dix, Sam'l 
Berryhill, Thos. Red, John Bledsoe, James Rae, Jos. Gresham, 
Wm. Doyle, Jos. Tilley, Job Thomas, Drury Roberts, Joel 
Walker, Jas. Red, W. McNorrell, Jno. Kennedy, F. Stringer, 
P. McCormick, H. Williams, J. Greenway, R. Blaishard, H. 
Irwin, T. Carter, J. Brantley, W. Weathers, W. Moore, W. 
Godbe, R Cureton, W. Cureton, P. Helvestien, Elias Daniel, 
E. Odom, B. Brantley, T. Gray, J. Brantle}', John Greene, John 
Burnside, S. Jordan, P. Dickey, Zach Wimberly, S. Lamb, B. 
Warren, Sol. Davis, Jno. Gray, Frank Hancock, Pleast Goodall, 
Wade Kitts, Dan'l Logan, Myrick Davies, John Roberts, R. 
Douglas, Jesse Scruggs, Henry Mills, Jos. Moore, Amos White- 
head, John Robinson, John Thomas, Sr., Wm. Younge, E. 
Benniefield, Jacob Sharp, C. Yarborough, J. Hunt, B. Lamb. S. 
Slockcumb, L. Hobbs, Jno. Forth, N. Williams, Ed. Walters, 
Jno. Stephens, F. Francis, M. Davis, Arthur Walker, A. Davis, 
Allen Brown, Joseph AUday, Jas. Douglas, L. Ashberry, C. 
Golightly, John Howell, Bud Cade, J. Moore, John Whitehead, 
John Sharpe, T. Odom, W. Hobbs, R. Cade, John Tillman, 
C. Whitehead. 

Many of these names belong to Virginia and North Car- 
olina, and some are evidently Scotch-Irish in their origin. 
These constituted a small part of the heads of families in 
the at present three counties, but serve to give us a little 

1782-1789.] AND THE GEORGIA PeOPLE. 129 

insight as to whence the Burke people came and who 
they were. White gives another list at a later day (1792) 
of the officers of the first battalion of Georgia militia. 

During the Revolution the patriots of Burke had consid- 
erable trouble with the Tories, who made repeated raids 
into the county. While many of the people were not in the 
army, they were patriots, and were in danger all the time. 

The first settlers of Burke were not large slaveholders, 
nor was there a large influx of slaves until after the inven- 
tion of the cotton-gin. It is likely that among the first 
cotton-gins ever put into operation in the world was the 
one set up in Burke county. Before Whitney secured his 
patent he put up one of his machines, as they were called, 
in Burke county, and ginned what cotton was brought him 
from all quarters. The wonderful value of the cotton 
lands in this county, low price of negroes, and the depres- 
sion of the tobacco and indigo culture caused cotton plan- 
tations to spring up as soon as the gin was invented. 

The oak and hickory section of the county when opened 
soon became quite unhealthy, and the white people were 
forced to the pine woods in the malarious seasons, and 
many of the smaller landholders sold their holdings in 
Burke and went farther west, and large plantations became 
the rule. 

Waynesboro was laid off in 1783 and was named in 
honor of Madam Anthony Wayne, who was a great favorite 
in Georgia. The Legislature incorporated an academy and 
granted two thousand acres of land as an endowment, and 
incorporated the village with Thomas Lewis, Sr., Thomas 
Lewis, Jr., Jas. Duhart, Edward Telfair, and John Jones as 
commissioners. Two hundred lots were to be sold and the 
proceeds were to be devoted to paying for the public build- 
ing. The academy was among the first houses built and 
the court-house was soon erected. The town grew and 

130 The Story of Georgia [Chap, iv, 

there was a race- course near by, and the famous comedy 
"The Wax Works " of "Georgia Scenes," was acted in 
this village. There was no church, however, for many 
years, and the only preaching was an occasional sermon in 
the court-house; but in the early part of the century two 
Presbyterian churches, one of which had been organized at 
Walnut Branch and the other at Old Church, united and 
built a small Presbyterian church in Waynesboro, which 
was served by a pastor who in winter preached in Burke, 
and in summer to the same people who went to the village 
of Bath, in the pine woods of Richmond. 

A Methodist church was built near where the cemetery 
is now soon after the Presbyterian church was built. The 
building was very inferior and the congregation very small. 
It has long since given way to what is now an elegant 
building with a large congregation. Six miles from 
Waynesboro was an old church which was built before the 
Revolution, and long used as a Methodist church, and in 
the east of the county is Bottsford Baptist church, one of 
the first Baptist churches in Georgia. The Baptist churches 
at Rocky Creek and Bark Camp and Buckhead were famous 
churches in the beginning of the century and for fifty years 

The county of Burke became early in the century a 
county of large plantations and wealthy planters. Some 
of these lived in beautiful homes on their places during the 
winter and in summer went to the pine woods. Haber- 
sham, Alexander, Summerville, Bath and Brothersville 
were each piny wood villages, to which the planters re- 
paired before the sickly season set in. There was much 
comfort and fine taste in these ante-bellum winter homes, 
and the hospitality of the planters was boundless. The 
villages to which they repaired during the summer time 
afforded a delightful social circle, and the commodious 
winter homes were filled with guests from the cities and 

1782-1789.] AND THE GEORGIA PeOPLE. 131 

the neighboring plantations. Nowhere was old Virginia 
life of a century gone by so reproduced as in Burke sixty 
years since. The large plantation was under the manage- 
ment of the overseer. The factor in Augusta or Savannah 
cashed the drafts of the planter and supplied his larder 
with such luxuries as he might desire from the city. His 
carriages and his horses were of the best order, and he sup- 
plied his library with the best books and periodicals. The 
wealth he enjoyed he had inherited, and he was often de- 
pendent upon the sagacity of others to keep it from leaving 
him. This was one kind, and the number was not large, of 
Burke county planters, and there were a few in all the 
neighboring counties of the same class. Then there were 
others much more numerous who had made their fortunes 
by hard work, and who, while they gave their children all 
that wealth could secure in the way of luxury, were them- 
selves hard-working, close-trading men, who read no books 
and put on no style, but who knew how to manage negroes 
and make cotton. Then there was a class of poor plain 
people who lived in the pine woods, few of whom had any 
slaves. They lived in log cabins on small bodies of land, 
and lived by their own labor. They rafted ranging timber 
down the Savannah river, made shingles in the cypress 
swamps, and raised some cattle and sheep. They had little 
to do with the wealthy people of the oak woods, and knew 
but little of them. There was no county in the State be- 
fore the war began in which there was a worthier, more 
contented or more prosperous people than the people of 
Burke county. 

The wonderful cotton-producing quality of the land 
turned the county into one great plantation, except in the 
pine woods. Negroes increased in numbers, and men who 
began life with a few found themselves the owners of scores. 
They put a high estimate on negro property and did all 
they could to increase the number of their slaves. They 

132 The Story of Georgia [Chap. iv. 

neglected their lands, incurred large debts, and when the 
slaves were freed many were bankrupt. 

Burke sent forth a large emigration, and the descendants 
of the people who came from Virginia and North Carolina, 
and from the north of Ireland, and settled in St. George's 
parish, have been scattered over all western and southern 
and southwestern Georgia. The smaller landholders from 
the oak and hickory country gave way at an early time to 
large landholders, and great bodies of negroes under the 
charge of an overseer were the sole inhabitants of some 
parts of the county during the summer and fall. When 
the rich cotton lands of the newer part of Georgia were 
opened the Burke planter removed a part of his force to 
them and opened a new plantation there. Much of the 
land was turned out and grew up in old field pines. A 
planter owned sometimes what had once been the 
separate homes of twenty sturdy frontiersmen. When the 
war ended and the negro was a freeman, the negroes were 
found in far greater numbers than the white people, and 
the few whites who lived on their estates came to the 
county town, and Waynesboro, from being a deserted vil- 
lage, became a flourishing little city. The plantations were 
left in the hands of negro tenants. The old field pines 
were cut down, and while the white people in Burke are no 
longer distributed over the county, but are concentrated in 
the villages, they are in larger number than in the older 
day. Where there was for many years a mere railroad sta- 
tion, the junction of the Augusta & Savannah railroad with 
the Central, Millen is now a prosperous little city. Mid- 
ville, Herndon, Munnerlyn, and Perkins are all villages of 
some importance, and there are sundry hamlets in other 
parts of the county. 

In the pine woods, where for many years the chief re- 
source was ranging timber and cattle, there are now many 
small well-cultivated farms, where there are good substan- 

1782-1789.] AND THE GEORGIA PeOPLE. 133 

tial prosperous farmers. There are good schools and 
churches and a contented, well-to-do people, 

I have devoted some care to this account of Burke, 
since it was one of the oldest counties, and its history is 
found largely reproduced in the other large cotton-produc- 
ing counties of Middle Georgia. The people of Burke 
have always been noted for their hospitality and generosity. 
They have been, as a rule, plain, unpretentious, religious 
people. The population of this county in 1790 was 9,467, 
of whom only 2,392 were slaves. It then included Screven 
and Jefferson counties. In 18 10, 6,166 whites and 4,691 
slaves; in 1850, 5,268 free and 10,832 slaves. The popu- 
lation of whites is greater now than it has ever been, and 
the negro population is not diminished,* 

This county has had its share of distinguished men. Ly- 
man Hall, David Emanuel, Edward Telfair, Herschel V. John- 
son, John Martin, all governors, lived in Burke. The Hon. 
J. J. Jones, S. A. Corker, R. E. Lester, congressmen, were 
from this county. The Shewmakes, legislators and jurists, 
and Judge Lawson, a prominent democratic politician, were 
from this county. Colonel T. M. Berrien long lived here, 
Edward Byne and the Kilpatricks, famous as Baptist 
preachers; Professor James Elmore Palmer, noted as an 
educator and long a professor in Emory College, and many 
others have cast luster on this good old county; but the 
county has been chiefly famed for its great planters, who 
have been noted for their intelligence and enterprise. 


Governor Wright in 1773 made a purchase from the In- 
dians of a large tract of land north of Little river and 
stretching westward to the Ogeechee. It was while he 

* The court-house in Burke has been burned and all the records which ante- 
dated the war are destroyed, but in the Appendix may be found a list of the 
first comers to the county. 

134 The Story of Georgia [Chap. iv. 

was in office known as the ceded lands. By the Constitu- 
tion of 1777 all this section was included in one county, 
called Wilkes in honor of the reckless John Wilkes, who 
had distinguished himself as the friend of the colonies. 
It was a section of great fertility and beauty, possessing 
the features which we have found in Burke and Columbia 

The people from the older colonies speedily found 
homes in this newly-opened territory and, as we have seen 
before, in 1790, when Georgia had in it only eighty-two 
thousand people, Wilkes had thirty-six thousand in its 
boundary. These people were nearly all native Americans. 
They came mainly from Virginia, though there were a 
number of North Carolinians. Governor Gilmer gives in 
his "Georgians" a racy description of some of the first 
comers who settled in the county at that time. He says: 

" On Long creek and extending southwardly from Sa- 
vannah river a settlement was made before and during the 
Revolutionary war by the Clarkes, Doolys, Murrays, Wal- 
tons, and others. They were from Bertie and adjoining 
counties of North Carolina and were all connected by 
blood or intermarriage. These North Carolina settlers 
lived upon game and the milk of the cattle they carried 
with them in their emigration. Hogs, sheep, and poultry 
were not to be had except in the fewest numbers. A suffi- 
cient supply of these indispensables for a new country 
could only be obtained from South Carolina, whither the 
people went for that purpose when they had sufficient 
money to purchase. Many years passed before they owned 
hogs and sheep enough for bacon and clothing. It was a 
hard time when the breakfast of a family depended upon 
catching an opossum over night or a rabbit in the morn- 
ing. The range was so unrestricted that the cows often 
wandered away beyond returning or finding, so that the 
children had no milk to wash down their otherwise dry 

1782-1789.] AND THE GEORGIA PeOPLE. 135 

bread. The horses that did the plowing had to be turned 
on the wild grass to get their food. They strayed away 
beyond finding if their legs were not fastened together, 
so that the art of hobbling was as important as the black- 
smith's. Bells were put upon them for the purpose of indi- 
cating their whereabouts, and then the Indians, if on the 
frontiers, carried them off. It was difficult to clear of its 
timber enough land for corn and tobacco. The term patch 
was for a long time used for land sown in wheat, because 
only a small quantity was allotted to that grain. Even 
these patches were not seen for years after the settlement 
began, so that flour could not be had for love or money. 
It was a long time before the children had more than one 
biscuit apiece on Sunday mornings. Traps, snares and 
other contrivances were resorted to for catching rabbits, 
birds and turkeys. 

There were no tanneries or well instructed shoemakers. 
Skins were hung in running streams till the hair could be 
slipped off, and then they were tanned in a trough. Most 
went without shoes the greater part of the year. 

The first houses were log cabins with dirt floors and 
clapboard coverings. Toads and serpents were often found 
crawling over the floors. The rattle of the rattlesnake and 
the cry of the panther often sent the children home in a 
hurry when hunting the cows. After working all day they 
sat around the hearth at night picking the lint from the 
cottonseed. Their only fruits were wild haws and grapes. 

In speaking of their social pleasures he said : " The great 
pleasure indulged in was dancing. The men went to 
musters, shooting matches and horse-races. The whisky 
bottle was always drawn out by the hospitable settler. 
The clothing of the girls was provided by their own weav- 
ing. Hollow trees provided cradles for their babies." The 
old governor gives an inventory of some estates, in which 

136 The Story of Georgia [Chap. iv. 

we get an insight into the prices of things and the general 
condition of the people just after the Revolution : 

One negro boy, ^50; i bed, 7s.; i pail and i piggin, 4s.; 
I wash-tub, 2 keelers, 4s.; i horse, ;^24; i saddle, 00; i 
razor and 2,000 acres of land in Richmond county, ;^50; I 
old gray horse, 5s. 

Another appraisement shows : 

One sorrel mare, ;:^6; i mare, ;^i; i horse, ;^3; i horse 
colt, :C4\ 6 head cattle, ;^20; i negro boy, ;!^20; i negro 
girl, ;^30; i axe, frying-pan and pothook, 5s.; i linen 
wheel, 5s.; old pewter, 15s.; butter-tub, 2s.; 5 old feather 
beds, £y, i pot, los. 

Another estate was : 

Four negroes, 3 ould basins, 7 plates, i frying-pan, i pig- 
gin, I earthen plate, 2 chairs, i table, 2 sides leather. 

Another was : 

Thirteen negroes, 6 horses, 7 sheep, 60 hogs, 23 cattle. 

And another : 

Sixty hogs, 8 sheep, 10 cattle, loom, knives and forks, 
flax wheel, turkey feather bed, 9 plates. 

In 1795 an inventory calls for : 

Eleven negroes, 29 hogs, i still, 30 pounds pewter. 

Up to this time the only well-furnished house is that of a 
physician in Washington, and the only library is that of 
Mr, Wm. Rogers, a teacher. The condition of the roads 
and the difficulty of transportation forbade anything like 
the complete furnishing of any home, but, as is seen, a few 
years after the Revolution there was a great abundance of 
the necessaries of life. 

These inventories give a better insight into the domestic 
affairs of the first settlers than any general description. 
They show that the first comers were men of some prop- 
erty, who had but few comforts and fewer of the luxuries 
of life. The description of Governor Gilmer of life among 
the first North Carolinians who came to Georgia and settled 

1782-1780.] AND THE GEORGIA PeOPLE. 137 

in Wilkes is borne out by the inventories of the first estates, 
but belonged to all the first comers. There was, however, 
immediately after the Revolution a large influx of Virgin- 
ians who were in better circumstances, and who brought 
with them in their large wagons from Virginia a supply of 
better furniture, and furnished their tables more bountifully. 
As illustrative of this we have the inventory of John Wing- 
field, or as he is written, John Winkfield, who died in 1798, 
and whose inventory is elaborate and extensive. He had, 
besides a sufficient supply of plain household and kitchen 
furniture, some articles mentioned in no other inventory up 
to that time. They were bacon, sugar, turkeys, a riding- 
chair, some books, some lard, and some table-cloths. He 
had twenty-seven negroes, the largest number reported up 
to that time. 

The land was generally secured by headright, or if pur- 
chased cost about two shillings per acre for the best quality. 
These Virginians, who knew the value of good land, bought 
large bodies and laid the foundations for the great estates 
their children had in after time. 

There was no court-house till 1785 and court was held 
in private houses. The jury sat on a log and consulted on 
their verdict. Governor Gilmer says the jury saw a fleeing 
Tory and left their log and gave chase. "Prisoners," he 
says, "in the absence of a jail, were bound with hickory 
withes, and confined occasionally by putting their heads 
between the rails of a fence, and sometimes putting them 
in pens." The Tories had little chance for fair trials. In 
1779 seven were condemned at one court. One man was 
indicted for treason, hog-stealing, horse-stealing, and other 
misdemeanors. While those tried for treason were con- 
victed, I doubt their being hung, as I find men of the same 
name afterward in the county. If one was acquitted and 
the mob thought he was guilty his chance of escape was 
slim. Even after the war, when a man who was accused 

138 The Story of Georgia [Chap. iv. 

of stealing a horse from General Clarke was acquitted by 
the jury, the old soldier arrested him and marched him to 
a convenient tree and was about to hang him anyhow, when 
Nathaniel Pendleton, a distinguished lawyer, succeeded in 
begging the poor fellow off. The old governor gives some 
extracts from the presentments of the grand jury, as follows: 
"We present Hezekiah Wheat for profane swearing, and 
Thomas Brooks for profane swearing, also Wm. Vardeman 
for profane swearing, also Andrew Frazier, also John Par- 
ham, also Thomas Osborn, also Wm, Osborn, also Moses 
Harris, also Peter Carnes, also Wm. Moor, also Jeffry 
Early, also Wm. Thornton, also Grant Taylor, also Richard 
Powell, also Samuel Creswell, also Daniel Young, also Pe- 
ter Stubblefield, also Jos. Cook, also James Stewart, also B. 
Smith, also Jos. Spradling, also Jno. Bragg for fighting and 
gambling, Jos. Parham for gambling. Grant Taylor and 
Wm. Osborn for fighting, Jos. Ryan for profane swearing, 
Daniel Young for gambling and suffering it to be done in 
his house, Peter Stubblefield for gambling, Dan'l Terondit 
for gambling, Owen Shannon for swearing, Thos. Shannon 
for gambling, Frederick Lipham for suffering gambling to 
be done in his house. The magistrates knowingly allow 
the Sabbath to be broke by merchants dealing with ne- 
groes and others, playing fives and other vices, in particular 
the magistrates about town who see it frequently, Micajah 
Williamson, Wm. Moor, and Henry Mounger, Esqs.; also 
that the militia officers in different districts do not keep up 
a patrol, from which the inhabitants suffer great damage by 
negroes riding horses at night, and many other mischievous 
acts; also that people are suffered to gallop and run horses 
through the streets of Washington." 

These copious extracts drawn from Governor Gilmer's 
invaluable book give us a little insight into the beginning 
of the great county of Wilkes. The most of the earliest 
comers to every new country are poor. People in easy cir- 


AND THE Georgia People. 139 

cumstances are not willing to endure the privation of a 
frontier life, but these first settlers are soon followed by 
those of larger means who enter into their labors. And so 
those who came first, bringing no property and settling on 
land granted to them by the State, who came without 
slaves or furniture, were soon followed by those who had 

This immigration of people of means from Virginia and 
North Carolina came very rapidly after the Revolution. 
While, as the census will show, a very large number had no 
negroes, there were quite a number of slaves in this section 
soon after the war. 

These slaves and those of the low-country planters were 
a very different class. They were Virginians by birth, 
though Africans by lineage. The negroes were not many 
in any family. In looking over the tax-lists in Wilkes 
there is not a slaveholder who has over thirty negroes up 
to the beginning of the century, while on the coast there 
were not a few slaveholders who had largely over one hun- 

The country in Virginia was much impoverished, and 
the prospect of finding good tobacco land in Georgia drew 
larofe colonies from all the central and tide-water counties 
of that State. The larger part of the immigration to Geor- 
gia had been from Dinwiddie, Prince George, Henrico, 
Hanover, Goochland and Halifax, and now there came a 
large colony from Albemarle led by Colonel George 
Mathews, afterward governor. He had served in Georgia 
during the Revolution, and had visited the new county of 
Wilkes on a prospecting tour. He was delighted with the 
land, so like the Piedmont country in which he lived, and 
finding that he could buy a large tract of preempted land 
at a small price, he bought what was known as the Goose 
Pond tract in then Wilkes, now Oglethorpe, county. 
He persuaded some of his neighbors to return with him to 

140 The Story of Georgia [Chap. iv. 

Georgia and spj- out the land. They, too, were delighted, 
' and they formed a colony known afterward as the Broad 
river colony, and settled near together on that river. These 
Broad river people were well-to-do, who brought with them 
from their homes a few negroes and such furniture as could 
be brought in wagons, and their live stock. They found 
excellent land and a fine range and were soon independent, 
and many of them became quite wealthy. They were a 
people of great worth, and their descendants have been dis- 
tinguished for their public services. Governor Gilmer, in 
his "Georgians," enters with interesting particularity into 
the family history of this remarkable colony. While these 
people preempted the rich valley of the Broad river, there 
were a number of other families of the same class who 
settled on the Little river. They were originally from Vir- 
ginia, but some of them came directlv from North Carolina. 
Among these comers were David Merriwether and Daniel 
Grant, and his son Thomas Grant, The Grants had one of 
the first mercantile establishments in middle Georgia, and 
built the first Methodist church in the State, and the second 
Methodist conference was held at their home. Daniel 
Grant was the first man in the State from conscientious 
motives to emancipate his slaves. 

The country was very rapidly settled, and in 1790 there 
was in its then boundaries 24,000 free and 7,268 slaves. 
In 1810, when the county was divided, 7,603 free and 
7,248 slaves; in 1830, 5,227 free and 8,960 slaves, while in 
1850 there were only 3,826 free and 8,261 slaves. The en- 
tire population had declined 3,000 in twenty years. 

Washington was selected as the county site. It was 
Heard's fort during the war, and was not laid out till 1783. 
The lots were to be sold, an academy and a court-house 
were to be built. It was the first county site called Wash- 
ington in the new republic. At Judge Walton's instance 
the name was changed to Georgetown, but it held the name 


AND THE Georgia People. 141 

only for a little while, and the only evidence that it ever 
bore it is found in the Georgetown road from Louisville, and 
a record in Warrenton. It was soon settled by intelligent 
and well-to-do people, and was for years the leading county 
town west of Augusta. It had large commercial establish- 
ments, branch banks, an academy and handsome resi- 
dences, but up to 1822 it had no church, and many of its 
leading citizens were noted for their skepticism and immo- 
rality. There were some leading people among them who 
were Baptists, and some Presbyterians and Methodists, but 
they had their membership in the country churches. In 
1822 the Methodists built a church in the village, and soon 
after the Baptists and Presbyterians had each a place of 

Jesse Mercer, the most progressive and influential Bap- 
tist in Georgia, married a lady in Washington and settled 
in the village in a comfortable and handsome old-time resi- 
dence. He here published one of the first hymn books 
ever printed in Georgia, "Mercer's Cluster of Sacred 
Songs," and established one of the first newspapers among 
the Baptists in the South, TJie Christian Index. 

In the beginning of the century a hymn-book was pub- 
lished in Washington for the Methodists by Hope Hull, 
which was the first ever printed in Georgia. 

When the tide of settlement moved westward Washinof- 
ton began to lose its prominence, and after the railroads 
were built it became a quiet, dignified, elegant old town 
with but little commercial importance, not even command- 
ing the trade of its own county; but after the war a new era 
came and a new prosperity, and it has more than trebled 
its population and has become one of the most attractive 
of central Georgia towns. One of the first, if not the first, 
female academies in Georgia was established in Washimrton 
by Madame Dugas, and it had for a longtime an important 

male school. In has now a graded school which has a v 



142 The Story of Georgia [Chap, iv.. 

handsome house well equipped. The attractive homes and. 
beautiful oaks and elms make Washinorton one of the most 


charming cities in the State. 

It was here that the Cabinet of the Confederate States 
held its last session, and from this historic town the Presi- 
dent of the Confederacy, with a few of his Cabinet, rode 
out to what he hoped would be exile, but which was to be- 
captivity and a dungeon. 

Wilkes had at the beginning of the century a newspaper 
published by David Hillhouse. He not only published a 
newspaper, but had the first job printing-ofifice in the then 
interior of Georgia. He was an enterprising and successful 
northerner. He died in 1804 and his wife took charge of 
his newspaper and job office and successfully conducted 
them. Once she published the laws of Georgia, being the 
first and only woman who was ever State printer. 

The county of Wilkes is most of it very hilly, with many 
streams and narrow valleys. It was a fine stock-raising 
country, and was admirably adapted to tobacco and cotton^ 
Up to 1800 no cotton was grown for market. After that the 
planting of cotton became a prominent industry, and as 
new lands opened for the stockmen the farms were sold 
and great plantations absorbed them. It was not in Wilkes 
as in Burke that the planter was nearly always forced to 
employ some one to see after his interests while he fled 
from the malaria to a piny woods village. The Wilkes 
planters lived on their plantations and the country homes 
were commodious and elegant, but as in Burke the planta- 
ti'ons absorbed the farms, and the war found Wilkes with 
but few white people in the country sections. The land 
was wretchedly worn, the homes in many cases dilapidated, 
and the yard full of little negroes. The result was as in 
Burke, but perhaps in no other middle Georgia county was 
the recovery from the evil effects of the war more rapid. 
The negroes were freed, but the planter found it cheaper 

1782-1789.] AND THE GEORGIA PeOPLE. 143 

to pay them wages than to hold them as slaves and support 
their dependents. The negroes clung to their old homes, 
and often to their old masters. The old fields which had 
grown up in second-growth timber and Bermuda grass were 
brought into cultivation. Pastures v.^ere made where the 
Bermuda grass had grown at will, and while there were sad 
reverses, perhaps the general prosperity of the county is 
beyond that of any period in the last fifty years. 

The people of Wilkes have always been noted for their 
high religious character. While it could not be claimed 
for the early comer that as a rule he was very moral, it is 
certain he had great respect for religion and his house was 
open to the preachers. He was ready at any time to fight 
for the church, and there were prosperous churches in the 
county from the earliest settlement. The Baptists were in 
the adjoining county before Wilkes was settled, and as soon 
as it was laid out they had an organization in it. Many of 
the early comers were Presbyterians from North Carolina, 
and some of the earliest teachers were Presbyterian minis- 
ters. The first presbytery in Georgia was organized under 
an oak in the town of Washington. The Methodists, as we 
have seen, came in 1786, and the Roman Catholics came 
in 1794. The first Catholic church organized in a rural 
part of Georgia was in Wilkes, the first Methodist song- 
book in Georgia was published in Wilkes, and the first Bap- 
tist song-book and Baptist newspaper were published in 

The county of Wilkes during the Revolution and for 
some years afterward was on the frontier, and while what is 
now Wilkes was protected to some degree by the cordon 
of settlers who were nearer the Oconee, it was always in 
danger of Indian raids until the Creeks were at last subdued. 

To merely mention the men of distinction who have 

*See Chapter XIV., Religion in Georgia. 

144 The Story of Georgia [Chap. IV. 

come from this famous old county would take much more 
space than we can give to any one county. 

Here Elijah Clarke, who shared with Twiggs the place 
of highest honor as a partizan chief, had his home, and 
here John Clarke, his famous son, who was afterward twice 
governor, was brought up. 

Matthew Talbott, for so many terms a member of the 
Georgia Legislature, and governor during one term, lived 

Peter Early, the distinguished judge, and afterward gov- 
ernor, who died in Greene, began the practice of law in 
this county when he came from Virginia. 

The celebrated Nathaniel Pendleton once lived in Wash- 
ington, and Peter Van Allen, who was killed by W. H. 
Crawford in a duel, lived in this county.* 

David Meriwether, the sterling Virginia soldier and 
Georgia statesman, lived here. 

Duncan G. Campbell, one of the most gifted and astute 
of early Georgia politicians, and his gifted son, John A. 
Campbell, long judge of the Supreme Court of the United 
States, lived here. 

Robert Toombs was born in this county and lived in it 
all his life, and died in the home of his youth in Wash- 

Jesse Mercer, the wise philanthropist, was born in this 
county and died in it. 

Hope Hull, one of the most valuable men of early Geor- 
gia, as we have seen, had his home near Washington. 

The famous Bishop James O. Andrew was born in this 

Daniel Grant and his son Thomas, noted for their ad- 
vanced views, large wealth, and philanthropy, lived in this 

[Note. — I have given much more attention to Wilkes 

♦ Van Allen married a sister of Lorenzo Dow. See Dow's Journal. 

1782-1789.] • AND THE GEORGIA PeOPLE. 145 

than I can give to any other county of middle Georgia, 
but it was a parent county, and in giving its story I have 
told the story of others in this part of the State. I am 
very much indebted to that enthusiastic antiquarian, Miss 
Eliza Bowen, whose careful researches into the early history 
of the county ought to be carefully preserved and pub- 
lished. I have had furnished me by her the newspaper 
clippings from which I have gathered much information.] 


St. John's, St. Andrew's and St. James's parishes were 
thrown into a county which was called Liberty. This 
county adjoined Chatham on the north and Glynn on the 
south, and its western boundary reached to the Altamaha. 
I have already given an account of part of it and a glimpse 
of the people in writing of the Dorchester settlement. 

There was little of internal strife in this section during 
the Revolution. The Dorchester Puritans, who were the 
main body of the people, were almost universally Whigs, 
and the Tories gave little trouble; but the county was the 
most exposed part of the colony to the British ships, and 
being on the direct line of march from Savannah to St. 
Augustine, and from St. Augustine to Savannah, suffered 
much from the ravages of war. 

Whether the army is a hostile or a friendly one, the 
people among whom it moves are always sufferers. Three 
times the American troops had marched into Liberty, and 
then came the British. There was a sharp conflict at Mid- 
way, the church was burned, the country devastated. The 
invaders carried off the negroes, burned the houses, broke 
the rice dams, drove off the cattle, and left the country 
desolate. As soon as peace came the planters who had 
fled to the back country returned and began life over again. 
They had scarce begun to recover from the ravages of the 


146 The Story of Georgia [Chap. IV^ 

war when the Creek Indians went on the war-path and 
made frequent and disastrous forays into the settlements^ 
murdering the whites, stealing the slaves and cattle, and 
rendering it dangerous for the people to go to church un- 
armed. Despite all these difificulties and drawbacks the 
thrifty people in the Dorchester settlement continued to 
improve their condition, and one of the most delightful 
chapters in Colonel Jones's history of Georgia is the ac- 
count he gives of this part of Liberty after society had 
settled down again in the last year of the old century and 
the first in the new. He says: "Ordinary journeys to 
church and of a social character were performed on horse- 
back. When he would a wooing go the gallant appeared 
mounted upon his finest steed and in his best attire, fol- 
lowed by a servant on another horse, conveying his mas- 
ter's valise behind him. 

"Shortly after the Revolutionary war stick-back gigs were- 
introduced. If a woman was in the vehicle and unattended 
the waiting-man rode another horse, keeping alongside and 
holding the check-rein in his left hand. When his master 
held the lines the servant rode behind. Men went often 
armed to church for fear of the Indians. 

"The country was full of game, ducks and wild geese in 
innumerable quantities filled the rice-fields, wild turkeys and 
deer abounded, bears and beavers were found in the 
swamps, and buffalo herds wandered northward and south- 
ward. There was no lack of squirrels, opossums, raccoons, 
rabbits, snipe, woodcock; wild-cats were the pests; the- 
rivers teemed with fish." 

The planters had their homes in summer at Sunbury, 
where they had schools and where they had all the privi- 
leges of cultured society. Sunbury, after Dr. McWhir 
took charge of the academy, became the educational center 
of lower Georgia. While there was much culture and 
elegance in one part of the county, there was another in 

1782-1789.] AND THE GEORGIA TeOPLE. 147 

which it was not to be found. In the pine woods rice 
could not be planted, and rice culture demanded such an 
outlay that when a man had nothing, or had very limited 
means, he went from the swamps to the pine-barrens and 
began to gather his flocks and herds about him. These 
two classes of citizens, the rice-planter and the inland stock- 
raiser, were widely separated and hardly knew each other. 
The Liberty county rice-planters were in the main the Mid- 
way Congregationalists. They had removed from South Car- 
olina together. They were many of them kinsmen, and they 
were generally in independent circumstances. They lived 
near each other, sent their children to the same school, and 
worshiped at the same church. Their slaves were gen- 
erally recently imported Africans, and were at first exceed- 
ingly ignorant and degraded, but the planters did much to 
improve them. The owner of the plantation grouped his 
negro cabins together on some high spot on his plantation, 
generally in a thick wood. The overseer was a white man 
and the driver was a trusty negro slave. The overseer gave 
the laborer his task and the driver saw to it that the slave 
did his work. The discipline of the plantation was very 
rigid. The negro was fed on rice and potatoes, and his 
work, except for a few times in the year, was very light, 
then it was excessively heavy. He had little to do with 
his master, and was responsible only to the driver and the 
overseer. The rice-plantation negro was content with no 
other place, and while he was perhaps the lowest sp.ecimen 
of his race in America, he was the most contented. The 
house slaves of the rice-planters were generally of a dif- 
ferent class from the field hands and superior to them. 
These house servants were better fed, better clad, and had 
more civilizing influences around them. 

The white man who lived in the pine woods has already 
been pictured in the account of Burke. There was but 
little difference in the life of the piny woods denizen as he 

148 The Story of Georgia [Chap. iv. 

was found in all this coast country. He had few or no ne- 
groes, and while an independent man lived a very plain life. 
As yet his timber was of but little value to him, and he de- 
pended on the cattle on his range, his sheep, his goats, and 
sometimes on some tar and pitch he carried to the market 
at Sunbury. He had no taxes to pay, no school bills, or 
store bills. He built his cabin with his own hands, and 
raised on his farm all that was necessary to supply his 
simple needs. In describing him I describe the men of his 
class as they appeared until the middle of this century, for 
no people ever presented fewer variations than the piny 
woods people of lower Georgia, until the railroads reached 
them over forty years ago. Then a great change passed 
over them, and a greater passed over the rice-planters. ' 

Up to the beginning of the last war there were two dif- ' 
ferent types of southern life side by side in this county, but ' 
when it ended there was but one. The elegance and cul- ■ 
ture and wealth, not at all overstated by Colonel Jones, dis- % 
appeared as if it had been a dream. The negroes came 
back to their old homes, but the master did not. The rice- 
fields were marshes again, the homes were deserted or 
burned, the old Midway church was given up to the negroes, 
and the people who had worshiped there found homes in 
other sections of the State. The pine woods were brought 
into market by the building of the railways. Turpentine 
farms were opened, mills were set up, and lands which had 
been considered worthless were found to be of real value. 
The culture of long cotton, of sugar-cane and of upland 
rice gave profitable employment to these small farmers, and 
there are few sections of the State where there is more solid 
comfort than is now to be found in what was considered at 
one time the barren lands of Liberty. 

Along the line of the Savannah and Florida railway flour- 
ishing villages have sprung up, and the white population is 

1782-1789.] AND THE GEORGIA PEOPLE. 149 

considerably increased. The population of the county in 
1790 was 5,355, of whom 4,025 were slaves; in 1810 there 
were 5,828 free and 4,408 slaves; in 1850, 8,000, of whom 
nearly 6,000 were slaves. 

The account given of the Dorchester settlement has ren- 
dered an}' further account of Liberty needless, and the his- 
tory of Midway church told elsewhere is a part of early 
Georgia history. While the Congregationalists were nom- 
inally in charge of the pulpit, the Presbyterians were really 
the preachers. There was virtually the same congregation, 
but there were really two organized churches of this denomi- 
nation, one at Midway and one at Walthourville. The 
Methodists have been in Liberty since the latter part of 
the last century. The Baptists have a considerable follow- 
ing in the county. 

No county has sent forth more distinguished sons than 
Liberty. Especially has it been famous for distinguished 
preachers who have gone from the Midway neighborhood. 


The county of Camden was on the extreme southern 
border of the State, and was at the time it was made a 
county very sparsely settled and by very poor people. In 
1790 there were in the large area which was then embraced 
in it two hundred and thirty-five white people and seventy 
negroes. Many of those who were scattered over these 
pine hills were that class who were impatient of the re- 
straints of civilized life and had gone into the wilds for 
greater freedom. There was not a church south of the 
Altamaha, and not a single public school in the beginning 
of the century in all the section. There were doubtless in 
the homes of the Spaldings, the Mclntoshes and the few 
families of wealth around Darien, St. Marys and on the 
islands, private tutors; but the people who were scattered 
through the pine forests were without any religious an J 

150 The Story of Georgia [Chap. IV. 

educational privileges, and when in 1799 the Methodists 
decided to establish a mission at St. Marys, and Jesse Lee 
rode from Charleston to that village on horseback to see 
after the mission, he said: 

" The country is very level and very poor except near 
the watercourses, being mostly a low pine-barren, and 
almost covered with what is called saw-pimento; but on 
the river Satilla and a few other places the land is good. 
The county is no doubt very sickly, except on the Satilla 
and at St. Marys, which is open to the sea and situated on 
a dry, sandy bluff. The country is very good for cattle, 
but it is at present a poor place for piety or morality, few 
people making any profession of religion and many who 
are addicted to bad habits find a dwelling in these parts. 
Drunkenness is very common amongst the people. Persons 
who violate the laws of their country find it convenient to 
flee from justice, either to the Indians on the west or the 
Spaniards on the south, and thus get out of the laws of the 
United States. I heard of some people in those two coun- 
ties, Gleftn (Glynn) and Camden, that were grown up, and 
some had families who had never heard a sermon or a 
prayer in all their lives till last summer, when George 
Clark first came among them."* 

This picture of an expanse of country which stretched 
back from the coast as far as the Georgia line extended 
was a true picture of much oi all this section for years 
after this. The inhabitants were cattle-raisers, who drove 
their cattle to the little city of St. Marys, whence they were 
shipped to the West Indies. 

When Dr. Lovick Pierce was quite a young man he was 
presiding elder in this section, and such was the state of 
society that he found a local preacher of mature years who 
had never been married legally to the mother of his chil- 
dren. There were neither magistrates nor parsons in these 

* Thrift's Life of Lee. 2i;7. 2S8. 


AND THE Georgia People. 151 

wild woods, and young people, ignorant of the laws requir- 
ing a license to marry or the need of an officiating priest, 
paired like wild doves. 

The rich lands on the rivers were opened early in the 
century, and the sea islands were planted in cotton and 
there were rice plantations on the main, and nowhere was 
there to be found a society more elegant than was to be 
found in this section near the seashore. 

St. Marys, in Camden, has a commanding position, as it 
was the extreme southward town on the Atlantic coast, 
only separated from Florida by a river. It has had varied 
fortunes. Sometimes it was a place of importance, and 
then declined and then revived. For years it was an im- 
portant shipping point for lumber, and at one time it com- 
manded a large trade in hides, tallow and wax, which came 
to it from the pine woods lying west. 

General John Floyd, the famous Indian fighter, lived 
in Camden, and General Duncan L, Church, a candidate 
for governor, had a rice plantation in this county. The 
county has never been thickly settled, but in St. Marys 
there have been good schools and churches for over a hun- 
dred years. 

Glynn, apart from the sea islands and Brunswick its 
chief city, has never had any marked features. The land 
is low and very poor and the inhabitants few. The sea 
islands, which before the war between the States were the 
homes of men of means, were abandoned during the war, 
and after the overthrow of slavery were not reoccupied, 
and were no longer cultivated on any considerable scale; 
and one entire island, Jekyl, has been purchased by a body 
of wealthy men of the North as a seat for a club-house 
and as a great game preserve. Brunswick has, however, 
become a city of very considerable importance. The 
country tributary to it has been very rich in its pine forests, 
and great quantities of lumber and ship stores have been 

152 The Story of Georgia [Chap. iv. 

shipped from this port to North American and European 

There have been in Glvnn and Camden from the first 
settlement two very different classes of people — the poor 
and the wealthy; but the wealthy have been very few, 
and the entire population at no time has been considerable. 


Franklin county, which was laid off in 1784, named in 
honor of Benjamin Franklin, embraced a very large part of 
upper Georgia, extending from the borders of what is now 
Rabun and Towns counties to Clarke, from the Savannah 
river to the Oconee in Hall and Jackson. 

It is still quite a large county of high hills and narrow 
valleys, lying along the base of the Blue Ridge, with some 
large and fertile valleys along the Tugalo and the Savannah. 
The county site, Carnesville, was laid out in 1805, and was 
named in honor of Thomas Peter Carnes. 

Franklin has sent forth into other parts of Georgia many 
most excellent people. It was for a long time by its loca- 
tion shut out from the 'world, but since the building of the 
Southern railway and the branch to Elberton it has been 
brought into close contact with other parts of the State. 

The people generally have been people of moderate 
means, but famous for thrift, plainness and independence. 
It adjoined Anderson district in South Carolina, and as 
Scotch-Irish people came from Pennsylvania into western 
North and South Carolina their children came to Franklin 
in Georgia, but with them came many of pure English 
origin. The Cleveland, Humphreys, Gorham, Payne, Har- 
den, Echols, Watson, Little, Chandler, and Blair families are 
all Scotch-Irish; while Wilkins, Sewell, Epperson, Rucker, 
Terrell, Hooper, Shannon, and Stovall are names of English 
people who came to this country from Virginia or North 

1782-1780.] AND THE GEORGIA PeOPLE. 153 

Lands were given away to actual settlers. They were 
])roductive, the health of the people good, and the popula- 
tion rapidly increased. 

The Presbyterians, who came into Franklin at a very 
early day, organized several churches over a hundred years 
ago, which are still in existence. The Rev. Mr. Cartledge, 
who resided in Franklin, was pastor of one church for fifty 
years, having the longest pastorate ever held by a preacher 
of any name in Georgia. 

The Methodists and Baptists came into the county at an 
early day and are very strong in the county. There are 
two famous camp-grounds belonging to the Methodists in 
the county where meetings have been held annually for 
many years. There has always been a good high school 
in Franklin, and good common schools are found in every 

Franklin was very thinly settled for a considerable time 
after it was laid out, and in 1790 there were only in all the 
vast area which it covered 1,041 people, of whom 156 were 
slaves. When it was much reduced in size in 18 10 there 
were 9,156 free and 1,056 slaves; in 1830 there were 10,107, 
of whom 2,370 were slaves. 

There was up to 1792 great danger from Indian forays, 
and the scattered inhabitants lived much of the time in 
blockhouses. Near this period the Indians massacred a 
family of nine persons at one time, but after the formation 
of the Union in 1789 the troubles with the Cherokees were 
largely settled, and there was but little disturbance after 
that time. 

The county is now much worn, and the people are gen- 
erally in moderate circumstances, many of them quite poor, 
but the population is still considerable, being in 1890 over 
fifteen thousand of all classes. The people are entirely de- 
pendent on agriculture but are very industrious and moral, 
and are a happy, independent people; and while there is 

154 The Story of Georgia [Chap. iv. 

little attention paid to the higher education, there is a gen- 
eral attention to the fundamental branches of English. 


Washington in 1784, when it was first laid out, was a 
county of immense area, including what is now Greene, 
Hancock, Washington, Johnson, Montgomery and a part of 
Laurens and Oglethorpe, but the account we give now 
refers merely to that part of the original county which 
bears the name. It is very near the center of the State 
and is a still a county of large size, of which the flourishing 
little city of Sandersville is the county site. It includes in 
its boundary a section of what is known as the rotten lime- 
stone country, and is famous for the fossiliferous deposits 
belonging to the tertiary period. This limestone exists in 
such quantities that good lime has been made from it for 

On the Ogeechee, the Buffalo and Kegg's creeks and 
Williamson swamp, and on the oak and hickory hills north 
of Sandersville the land at its first opening was very fertile, 
but the pine woods, which included much the larger part of 
the country, were in the early days of the century looked 
upon as of no value. The early comers took the oak and 
hickory lands, and the pine woods were thinly settled. 
The county was much exposed in its early settlement to 
Indian forays and was settled slowly. 

The State had devoted a large part of Washington and 
Franklin for bounty land to its soldiers, and it was granted 
in lots of two hundred and fifty acres free from taxation for 
some years, and if one preferred to pay taxes he was to 
have two hundred and eighty-seven and one-half acres. 
Much of this land was of the best quality and many people 
came to the land granted them and made homes, though 
not a few sold their warrants. The long list of grants found 


AND THE Georgia People. 155 

in the Appendix does not show the settlers of Washington 
alone, but belongs to many who never came at all. 

There was but little to attract to this dangerous frontier 
before the end of the Indian war, but although the danger 
was great the lands on the creeks and rivers and the oak 
and hickory lands north of Sandersville were so fertile that 
they drew many daring settlers, who had received their 
warrants from the State, and the population grew steadily, if 
not rapidly, for some years. In 1 790 there were in all the 
country originally Washington 4,500, of whom only 649 
were slaves; in 18 10, 6,427 free and 3,313 slaves; in 1830, 
6,000 free and 3.909 slaves; in 1890, 25,237 of all classes. 

The first settlers as given by White were : Alexander 
Irwin, John Rutherford, Wm. Johnston, Jared Irwin, Wm. 
Irwin, Elisha Williams, Jacob Dennard, J. Beddingfield, P. 
Franklin, A. Sinquefield, Jos. Avant, John Sheppard, John 
Thomas, John Daniel, John Martin, B. Tennille, J. Burney, 
Hugh Lawson, John Shellman, Wm. Sapp, M. Murphy, 
John Jones, John Montgomery, John Stokes, M. Saunders, 
Geo. Galphin, Jacob Dennis, J. Nutt, D. Wood, W. War- 
then, Jacob Kelly, Wm. May. 

Many of these names are of Scotch origin, and many of 
these first settlers came from North Carolina, where a large 
colony of Scotch-Irishmen had settled. There were some 
of the settlers from Burke, Effingham and Wilkes and a 
few Virginians among the first comers. There were some 
slaveholders who had a small number of slaves, but the 
bulk of the people were poor and the fortunes possessed by 
them in after years were of their own making. 

There was for twenty years after the settlement of Wash- 
ington little to induce wealthy people to emigrate to it, but 
the land was so cheap and so fertile that those who came 
into the woods poor soon became independent and were 
rich in herds and flocks. There was no market nearer than 
Augusta, and there was but little to be sold and but little 

156 The Story of Georgia [Chap. IV. 

was bought. The houses were log cabins and the people 
were generally dependent entirely on their own labor, but 
the cotton machine was invented and one was brought to 
the county, and cotton planting began on a considerable 
scale after the century opened. 

The tide of settlers came rushing in. They came with 
slaves to open new plantations. The poorer stock-raisers 
gave way and large plantations in the better lands became 
the rule, and by 1830 in the richer sections negro laborers 
had entirely supplanted the white yeomanry. This was, 
however, true only of the richer lands; there was much of 
the country occupied by the pine woods people, and there 
was among them the same condition of things that we have 
alluded to as belonging to the settlers in Liberty. There 
were a few very wealthy people in the county and a great 
many in moderate circumstances, and only a few who were 
very poor. The people as a rule lived plainly, and, while 
not famous for culture, were highly valued for their thrift 
and honesty. 

The county site was not fixed until 1796, and the courts 
were held near what is now Warthen's. Saundersville, as 
it was first written, was named in honor of a Mr. Saunders 
who had a plantation on the place selected as the county 
site. It was in the center of the county near the pine belt, 
though in the oak woods. It was for many years an insig- 
nificant town, deriving its importance from its being the 
county site. It was incorporated and had an academy. 

The academy at Sandersviile was endowed by the State 
with the usual benefaction of one thousand acres of land, 
and afterward of an annual appropriation, and in addition 
to this it was allowed the privilege of running a lottery 
which was to be for the benefit of the academy. The lot- 
tery was in existence for a long time, as by the provisions 
of its charter it could continue until a certain sum was real- 
ized. The lottery and the endowment disappeared with 


1782-1789.] AND THE GEORGIA PeOPLE. 157 

the end of the war, and now the Washington county acad- 
emy is merged into the graded school at Sandersville. 

The Central railway passed directly through the poorer 
part of Washington, within three miles of Sandersville, and 
before the war much of the best retail trade of the county 
went to that city, but after the war the trade was given to 
the near-by villages of Tennille and Davisboro. 

Sandersville began to improve rapidly and has continued 
to grow up to this time. It was surrounded by a wealthy 
country, and was for many years noted for its disregard of 
religion and morality. The leading citizens were avowed 
infidels, and the lives of many of them openly profligate. 
There was but one apology for a church in the village, a 
dilapidated, unpainted shell of a house on the outskirts of 
the town. There was occasional preaching in the village, 
and no Sunday-school, but a change for the better set in 
about 1858. 

The epicureans, who gave tone to society, either left the 
county or died, and a new and better class of men took 
their places. A neat church was built by the Methodists, 
then one by the Christians, and then one each by Baptists 
and Roman Catholics. Now in all these churches there are 
regular services. 

The old uncomely academy has long since been aban- 
doned, and one of the handsomest school buildings in the 
State has been erected. 

The Federal army burned the court-house with its valu- 
able records, and its place was taken by another, which is 
now being replaced by a very handsome and convenient 

While there was little attention paid to religion in the 
first settlement of Washington, there were a few log churches 
both among Baptists and Methodists before the beginning 
of the century. Bishop Asbury mentions in his Journal 
preaching at Harris meeting-house and on Williamson's 

158 The Story of Georgia [Chap. YV, 

swamp. The Baptist church Bethlehem, near Warthen's, 
has a history going back to the early settlement of the 

For many years after the county was settled all the wild 
revelry of frontier life was freely indulged in by the people. 
They drank almost universally, and often to excess, raced, 
gambled, and there was fair play given to all who chose to 
settle their quarrels in the ring. On court days and musters 
as late as 1850 there was fighting and drinking and gaming 
without any vigorous restraints, but now the county has the 
prohibition of the whisky traffic, and Sandersville and Ten- 
nille city governments, a law-abiding people, good schools 
and good churches. 

Tennille, from being a mere station known as No. 13 on 
the road, has become quite a little city. The Central rail- 
road, the Wrightsville and Tennille road, the road to Augusta 
and the short line to Sandersville give to the county all 
needful railroad facilities. Governor Jared Irwin, so famous 
in the early history of this county, lived and died in it, and 
his monument erected by the State stands on the public 
square in Sandersville. 


Greene was formed from Washington in 1785. It was 
named Greene in honor of General Nathaniel Greene, and 
was composed of what is now Greene and Hancock and a 
part of Taliaferro, Oglethorpe and of Oconee. It was a 
magnificent county. The Oconee and Apalachee rivers 
and several large creeks ran through it, and the bottoms 
were wide and fertile. The larger part of the county was 
forest-covered hills of rich red land. The lower part, 
toward Hancock, was a fine gray land which was covered 
with a growth of small oaks, and at the first settling of the 
county was regarded as the least desirable part of the 
county, but is now the most thickly settled and prosperous 
part of it. 


1782-1789.] AND THE GEORGIA PEOPLE. 150 

The first settlers, as Mr. White gives them, were: Thos. 
Haines, D. Gresham, W. Fitzpatrick, H. Graybill, Oliver 
Porter, John Bailey, Chas. Cessna, T. Baldwin, M. Rabun, 
Jno. George, Alex. Reed, M. Rogers, D. Dickson, W. 
Harris, Peyton Smith, E. E. Parks, Peter Cartright, G. W. 
Foster, Jno. Armour, Dr. Poullain, Jesse Perkins, Joel 
Newsome, James Armstrong, Major Beasly. To these 
might be added the Abercrombies, the Dales, Fouches, and 

These names are nearly all Virginia and North Carolina 
names. Greene was largely settled by people from these 
States and had in it a very few people from any other sec- 
tion. The list which is given by White includes many whO' 
were afterward in Oglethorpe and Hancock. 

The first settlers lived on the creeks and near the river, 
and for their own protection in close proximity to each 
other. A blockhouse was generally built at a convenient 
distance, and the families upon the approach of the Indians 
fled to it for protection. The men left their families in 
the blockhouse and went into the fields to cultivate the 
corn patches from which they hoped to make their bread. 
Until the cessation of the Oconee war there was constant 
peril and the immigration of people of means was small; 
but by 1790 there were five thousand four hundred 
and five people in the several counties then known as 
Greene, of whom one thousand three hundred and seventy- 
seven were negroes. There was constant apprehension of 
Indian forays and troops of soldiers were kept under arms. 

In 1794 there was a troop of dragoons commanded by 
Captain Jonas Fouche, of which we have a roster in 
White's collections. These dragoons were: 

Captain Fouche, Peyton Smith, Geo. Phillips, William 
Browning, Chas. Harris, John Young, S. B. Harris, Wm. 
Heard, S. M. Devereaux, John Harrison, Abner Farmer, 
Isaac Stocks, Samuel Dale, Josiah McDonald, Douglas- 

160 The Story of Georgia [Chap. iv. 

Watson, Jesse Standifer, Wm. Scott, Arthur Foster, Wm. 
George, John Capps, R. Patrick, J. Jenkins, Chas. Watts, 
T. Byron, Jos. White, R. Finks, Geo. Owing, Wm. Coursey, 
Jos. Shaw, Jno. Pinkard, L. B. Jenkins, P. Watts, T. Scott, 
R. Walron, H. Potts, D. Lynch, S. Standifer, Jos. Heard, 
Jas. Moor, H. Gibson, R. Grimatt, George Reed, M. Wall, 
Jas. McGuire. 

The militia districts mentioned were: Armour's, Brown- 
ing's, Taylor's, Beard's, Melton's. 

Although the county was organized in 1786, the first 
court does not seem to have met until 1790. The first 
estate is appraised in 1786, It consisted of: 

Fifty bushels corn, i bay mare, i cow and calf, i heifer, 
some hogs, an ax, a hoe, a linen wheel, a brass kettle, a tea- 
kettle, a wash-tub, churn, candlesticks, bottles, slaye, tea- 
pots, bole, mugg; 200 acres land, £']^. 

The first will is that of Jos. Smith, a surveyor, made in 
1786. His estate was, 17 cows, surveying instruments, 4 
horses, 3 Bibles, 3 Testaments, 3 sermon books, 4^ yards 
gray cloth. 

The first grand jury was: Thos. Harris, David Love, 
Walton Harris, David Gresham, Jno. A. Miller, Wm. Fitz- 
patrick, Wm. Heard, Moses Shelby, James Jenkins, Joseph 
White, Robert Baldwin, Wm. Shelby, Jesse Connell, Joseph 
Spradling, Wm. Daniel. 

The grand jury presents as a " greate greavance " that 
these were more land-warrants than there was land. 

The judge prescribes as a rule for lawyers that: " For the 
sake of a decent conformity with an ancient custom, and of 
a necessary distinction in the profession, that attorneys 
shall be heard in a black robe, but this rule was not to be 
enforced till the next session." 

The cases in the early courts were largely for assault and 
battery, and when parties were convicted the fines were 
generally from three to ten dollars. One who had been 


AND THE Georgia People, ItU 

convicted of manslaughter was sentenced to be branded on 
the left thumb with the letter M, and four convicted of 
forgery were to be hung. 

The court-house in 1798 was a very inferior building, and 
the jail was a mere hut. As late as 1798 the United States 
soldiers were still quartered in the country to protect the 
settlers from Indian raids, for, though the Indians were 
nominally peaceable, they were likely at any time to give 
trouble. Despite the dangers from Indians and the hard- 
ships of the frontier immigrants poured in from North 
Carolina and from Virginia. Many of the North Caro- 
linians came from Rowan and Mecklenburg and settled on 
Shoulderbone creek in Hancock. The Virginians came 
from Franklin, Brunswick, Prince George, Dinwiddie and 
Prince Edward and settled on the Apalachee and Oconee. 
The first comers to Greene were, as they were in Wilkes, 
generally men of small means. They were industrious and 
thrifty and prosperous. The tide of settlers was very con- 
stant and very full. At first nothing was produced but 
food crops, principally corn and cattle and hogs, but there 
was a large quantity of these. The range was wide and 
cattle and hogs fattened in the woods. A little tobacco was 
raised for market, but there was but little to sell and few 
purchasers for anything. The people lived within them- 
selves. They made everything needful for comfort, and up 
to the war of 18 12 Greene and Wilkes and Hancock were 
filled with plenty. The county produced everything needed 
for man or beast. There was corn, barley, rye, wheat, 
hogs, cattle, horses. There were few people of large wealth 
in the county up to 18 12, and none who were squalidly 
poor. There were a few people like old Joel Early, 
who kept up the style of an old English baron, but the 
larger part of the people lived in solid comfort and made 
no pretenses. Living was exceedingly cheap, and board was 

162 The Story of Georgia [Chap. iv. 

two to four dollars per month. Unfortunately the drink- 
ing habits of the people were universal, and brandy and. 
whisky were freely used, and they were distilled in quan- 
tities. Life in all this middle Georgia belt was so much, 
the same that the story of one of these counties is the- 
story of all. 

The people of all these counties came from the same sec- 
tion and had the same features. They were, as far as- 
education was concerned, beyond their children, who grew 
to manhood on the frontier, and who twenty years after- 
ward settled in Jasper, Morgan or Jones. Most of those who 
signed deeds in Greene could write their names, but it was- 
not so twenty years afterward. Those who grew to man- 
hood during and just after the Revolution had scant oppor- 
tunities for learning even elementary branches. 

After the bringing in of the cotton-gin in the first years 
of the century, and as the country on the west of the Oconee 
was opened, the men who had small farms and raised pro- 
vision crops entirely began to seek other homes and the 
farms were absorbed by the plantations. 

After the war of 1812 wealth very rapidly increased in 
Greene and cotton planting was vigorously pressed. As 
was the case in Wilkes and Columbia negroes began to 
take the place of white people, the plantations of farms, 
and cotton of grain. 

The effort of the planter from 181 5 to 1850 was to raise 
all the cotton possible. Grass is the deadly foe of this 
textile plant, and now the Bermuda grass was brought into 
Greene. Mr. John Cunningham, a merchant of Greensboro 
in the early twenties, told the author that he brought the- 
first small tuft of this grass to Greensboro and planted it in 
his garden. The garden was soon covered, the farm was 
next to follow, and the pestiferous grass, as it was regarded, 
spread so rapidly that in some cases the fields were simply 
surrendered to it and the planter counted his plantation as- 

1782-1789.] AND THE GEORGIA PeOPLE. 163 

ruined. With the new lands opening, the Bermuda grass 
spreading, the fields once so fertile becoming washed and 
worn, the planters of Greene began to seek fresher lands in 
the west, and as in Wilkes the farms were absorbed by the 
plantations. The after history told of Wilkes and Burke 
is true of Greene. 

It is now no longer a county of planters, but is a county 
of villages. The owners of the land reside in the small 
towns and the negro tenants work the fields. But while 
this is the fact now, it has been a fact to some extent for 
over forty years. Save that the freedman has taken the 
place of the slave, it is as it was when the overseer con- 
trolled the plantation before the war. This is true of the 
red lands, but not true of poorer lands in other parts of the 
county. Here there is improvement in every line. 

The Presbyterians and the Baptists came into Greene 
with the first settlements and organized churches before 
they had meeting-houses. The Baptists had churches at 
Scull Shoals and Bairdstown shortly after the county was 
settled, and occupied jointly with the Presbyterians the 
building called Siloam meeting-house, then on the hill 
overlooking Greensboro. Here Mr. Ray had an academy, 
and for its support an appropriation was made by the Leg- 

The Methodists entered the county as soon as they came 
into Georgia, and soon had a number of preaching places. 
Bishop Asbury preached at Little Brittain, and at Bush's, 
now known as Liberty, and the South Carolina Conference 
was held at this church in i8o8. Asbury and McKendree 
were both present. Lovick Pierce was ordained an elder 
and Bishop Wm. Capers was admitted into the connection 
as a preacher on trial. There was a famous camp-ground 
at Hastings, where the people of Greene used to assemble 
annually for religious meetings. One of the most remark- 
able revivals of religion ever known in Georgia reached 

164 The Story of Georgia [Chap. IV. 

Greensboro in 1827, when Judge Longstreet and many of 
the most prominent men in the county were converted. 
Greene is now well supplied with churches and school- 
houses, and while the country neighborhoods have de- 
clined, the villages of Greensboro, Union Point, White 
Plains, Penfield, Woodville and Veazy have grown up, and 
the people of the county have religious and educational 
advantages beyond those at any previous time; and while 
much of what was once the most fertile land in Greene is 
not now productive, the average of production per acre is 
perhaps greater now than at any time since 1820. 

Greensboro was selected as the county site as soon as 
the county was laid off, and an academy was provided for. 
The trustees were granted one thousand acres of land for 
its endowment. Commissioners were appointed to lay off 
the town and build the academy and repair Siloam meet- 
ing-house. The Rev. Jas. Ray was appointed rector. 

Greensboro drew to it from its first settlement a fine 
class of citizens and soon became famous for its culture 
and refinement. It was the county site of a wealthy 
county, and while in the early days the planters mainly 
lived on their plantations, the lawyers and doctors, 
preachers and teachers, as well as the court officers, nearly 
all lived in the town. Here Dr. Lovick Pierce practised 
medicine during the time he was a local preacher, and here 
Dr. Adiel Sherwood, the great Baptist preacher, lived, and 
while living here in 1829 he published the first book, 
"Gazetteer of Georgia," which attempted to tell of the 
resources of the State. Here Judge Longstreet began the 
{practise of law and became famous as a wit and jurist. 
Here he married and as has been seen became a Christian 
and Methodist preacher. Here Wm. C. Dawson, long time 
senator and one of the most popular of Georgians, had 
his home and practiced his profession. Thomas Foster, 


AND THE Georgia People. 165 

the genial and gifted young Congressman, practised law in 
this village. 

John Bethune and Vincent Sandford, each clerks of the 
court and men of position and influence, lived here. Near 
here the great Georgia bishop, Geo. Foster Pierce, was 
born, and here he spent his childhood, and from Greens- 
boro he went to college at Athens. Here he decided to 
enter the Methodist itinerancy, and laid down his law books 
and entered the ministry. 

The eccentric but sterling Governor Peter Early lived in 
this county, and is buried on what was his manor. His 
father, Joel Early, came from Virginia, and purchased a 
very large body of land on the Oconee river, where he lo- 
cated what he called Early's Manor. His will is on record 
and is a striking document. It gives direction not only as 
to the distribution of his property, but as to the methods of 
pruning his apple orchards and resting his fields. He be- 
queathed his land to trustees to be given to his favored 
sons when they were thirty-six years old. Two of his sons 
he disinherited, one for extravagance, the other for disre- 
spect. The descendants of the Greene county people are 
found in all sections of the Southern country, and they 
have been among the most useful and distinguished of the 

166 The Story of Georgia [Chap, v, 


1789 TO 1800. 

George Walton Governor — Convention 1789 — Some of its Provisions — First 
General Thanksgiving Day Observed — Governor Telfair — General Wash- 
ington's Visit to Georgia — Governor Mathews — New Counties — Educational 
Advancement — The Old Field School — Shooting Matches — Gander-pulling 
— Dancing — Fighting in the Ring — Horse-swapping — Drinking Habits — 
General Character of the People — The Yazoo Troubles — General Jackson's 
Course — Rescinding of the Act — Convention of 1795 — Convention of 1798 
General Jackson Governor — Pine-barren Frauds — History of Elbert, 
Columbia, Screven, Oglethorpe, Hancock, Bulloch, Bryan, Mcintosh, Jack- 
son, Montgomery, Lincoln — Georgia in the Federal Union. 

Authorities : Stevens, Vol. II., White's Statistics, White's Historical Collec. 
tions, Sherwood, Chappel's Pamphlet on the Yazoo and Pine-barren 
Frauds, Jackson's Letters of Sicillius, State Papers Quoted by Chappel, 
Watkins's Digest, Marbury & Crawford's Digest, Clayton's Compilation, 
Campbell's Georgia Baptists, Smith's History of Methodism, Wilson's Pres- 
byterian Necrology, Georgia Scenes, Georgia Gazette, Georgia Chronicle, 
Cranch's Reports U. S. Supreme Court, Vol. VI. 

Georgia ratified the Constitution early in 1788, but it was 
late in the year before the needful nine States had acted 
and the Union formed. George Walton, of whom we have 
spoken elsewhere, was governor when the Constitution was 
ratified. He had been of the four who called the first 
meeting of the Whigs in Savannah. He had signed the 
Declaration of Independence, had been a member of the 
Continental Congress, a member of the Council of Safety, 
and ofificer in the army, and one of the first of the Georgia 
judges. His published charges are not the best specimens 
of clear expression and of faultless English, but they are 
vigorous and sensible. Walton has not received his just 
meed from Georgia historians. He did not get on well 
with General Mcintosh or Edward Telfair, who were Scotch 

J 789-1800.] 

AND THE Georgia People. 167 

(lairds both, and rich men, and clashed with the independent 
Virginian, but he was in great favor with the common 
people. In May the convention met again. Its members 
were : 

Chatham — Asa P2manuel, Justus H. Scheuber. 

Greene — Jos. Carmichael, Henry Carr. 

Effingham — Benj. Lanier, Jno. Green, Nathan Brownson. 

Burke — David Emanuel, Hugh Lawson, Wm. Little. 

Richmond — Abraham Marshall, Wm. F. Booker, Leon- 
.ard Marbury. 

Wilkes — John Talbot, Jeremiah Walker. 

Liberty — Lachlan Mcintosh. 

Glynn — Alex Brisett. 

Washington — Jared Irwin, John Watts. 

Franklin — Joshua Williams, M. Woods. 

This convention was called merely to review and, if it 
saw fit, to accept the Constitution which had been prepared 
for its revision by the convention of January. The Consti- 
tution submitted was a carefully prepared document and 
provided for two Houses, a Senate and a House of Repre- 
sentatives. Senators must be twenty-eight years old, and 
have ^250 in property, and members of the House ^^150; 
no clergyman should be a member of either House; repre- 
sentation was to be equalized as far as possible; the Senate 
should elect the governor on a nomination from the Lower 
House; the requirement of the former Constitution that one 
should be a Protestant in order to hold office was abrogated. 
This Constitution was accepted and remained in force for 
near ten years. 

It was in full force in October, and the first Assembly 
held under it met in November. Seaborn Jones was 
Speaker of the House, and ex-Governor Brownson Presi- 
dent of the Senate. The House, as required by the Con- 
stitution, sent to the Senate the names of two candidates to 
be voted for for governor. Ex-Governor Houston and ex- 


The Story of Georgia 

[Chap. V. 

Governor Telfair were the parties nominated. When the 
vote was counted it was found that each had the same vote. 
On the next ballot Governor Telfair was unanimously 

The first Thanksgiving Day ordered by the United States 
authorities came while the Assembly was in session, and 
one of the first acts of the new Legislature was to provide 
for the observance of this day. 

The church in Augusta had now been made habitable, 
and was being supplied for the time by Dr. Palmer of the 

Richmond academy. He 
was requested by the Leg- 
islature to provide a form 
of prayer and to preach a 
Thanksgiving sermon, 
which he did to the great 
satisfaction of the body, 
who very decorously at- 
tended service, and who 
the next day returned 
thanks to Mr. Palmer for 
his well-adapted sermon. 

Georgia had already 
elected her two senators, 
and now made provisions 
for electing the three members of the House. 

General Washington, who was making a tour through the 
United States, came to Augusta from Savannah and was re- 
ceived by the governor with due formality. The president 
always fixed his quarters at a public house, and positively 
refused to be entertained privately, but accepted the civili- 
ties which were always extended, so he had his dinings and 
the inevitable ball, attended the commencement of the 
Richmond academy, and gave the young students sundry 

George Washington. 


AND THE Georgia People. 169 

copies of the classics, which had been offered as prizes, 
with his autograph in them. 

There had been up to this time no great deal of political 
strife in Georgia. The bitter antagonisms of the past had 
been personal rather than political, and the sectional feel- 
ing had not been as yet manifest. Savannah and the low- 
country had ruled the State from its first settlement without 
resistance or protest, but it now became evident that the 
people of the up-country were not to be ignored or over- 
shadowed by the wealthy and cultured men of the low- 
country. These educated low-country men were all Demo- 
crats in public life and aristocrats in their social affinities. 
They were bitterly opposed to Federalism and sympathized 
with the French, and so when Mr. Telfair of Burke, for- 
merly of Chatham, offered for governor the second time he 
was defeated by the rugged and uneducated Federalist, 
Colonel Geo. Mathews, who had only been in the State ten 
years, and who had been governor for one term already. 

While Governor Mathews was in office that irrepressible 
old soldier, Elijah Clarke, decided the time had come to 
take possession of the Indian lands on the west of the 
Oconee, and so gathering a body of daring spirits about 
him they went together into the wilderness. Governor 
Mathews ordered him to withdraw, but he refused, and 
only after the militia was ordered out would he return. 

It was during this period that Georgia became greatly 
excited by what many Georgians have always called the 
Yazoo fraud. Such was the extent of the angry feelings 
aroused by the act thus characterized that anything like a 
calm consideration of the matter was impossible then, and 
for fifty years afterward there was but one side of the case 
looked at; and such is the verdict of history even now, that 
I may find it difficult to make a fair, calm and judicial 
statement of the facts concerning the sale of the western 

170 The Story of Georgia [Chap. V. 

The English colonial office before the Revolution, against 
the protest of South Carolina, recognized the colony of 
Georgia as having the title to all the lands lying west of 
Savannah river, containing what is now Georgia, Alabama, 
and Mississippi, and when England recognized the State of 
Georgia as free and independent, she gave to this State, 
composed then of less than thirty thousand people, a clear 
title to all that land. That part of this territory beyond 
the Chattahoochee was claimed by two separate parties. 
The Spanish claimed it by right of conquest, and the State 
of South Carolina claimed that it was a part of the original 
grant to the proprietors to which she had fallen heir. 

The United States Government now came in with the 
plea that as large expenses had been incurred by the Con- 
tinental Congress in conducting the war to a successful 
conclusion, and as the public lands had been pledged for 
payment of the national debt, that Georgia was bound in 
honor to do as Virginia and the other States had done, to 
relinquish her title to this unoccupied section. The gen- 
eral government also claimed that by the Constitution 
which Georgia had adopted the United States was the 
only party who had a right to treat with the Indians, and 
that Georgia by accepting the Constitution virtually gave 
her consent to the cession of this territory. 

Georgia consented to make the cession, but the condi- 
tions she laid down were such that the general government 
refused to accept her proposition. Mr. Chappel, who ex- 
amined closely into the matter, is of the opinion that these 
conditions were made purposely offensive by those who 
expected and intended to buy the land for a mere pittance. 
(Chappel's Pamphlet on Yazoo Fraud.) 

The treasury of the State was empty, the State troops 
were unpaid, the people were not able to pay heavy taxes 
and were unwilling to pay any. The State currency was 

1789-1800.] AND THE GeoKGIA PeOPLE. 171 

greatly depreciated, and the only hope of relief was the 
sale of the Indian lands. 

In 1789 three companies — the Virginia Yazoo Company, 
the South Carolina Land Company, and the Tennessee 
Land Company — each composed of prominent men, pro- 
posed to purchase the land. The members of the South 
Carolina Land Company mentioned in Watkins were Alex- 
ander Moultrie, Isaac Huger, Wm. Clay Snipes, and Thos. 
Washington; and the Virginia Yazoo Company were Patrick 
Henry, David Ross, Wm. Cowan, Abraham B. Venable, 
Jno. B. Scott, Wm. Cock Ellis, Francis Watkins, and John 
Watts; and of the Tennessee Land Company, Zach Cox, 
Thos. Gilbert, John Strother, and, as appears from a 
record in the Wilkes county court, Steven Heard, Wm. 
Downs, Henry Candler, Jno. Gardner, Middleton Woods, 
Wm. Cox, and Thos. Carr were admitted into the com- 
pany after the purchase was made.* This last company, 
which purchased the valley of the Tennessee, was exclu- 
sively a Georgia company. 

These companies bought fifteen million five hundred 
thousand acres for about two hundred thousand dollars, 
payable in two years. The sale was made in good faith, 
and as far as we can see no complaint was made about it. 
Ed Telfair was governor and he signed the act; and it 
would have been a fact accomplished if the purchasers had 
been able to pay the amount agreed on, but they were 
not able to pay in coin, and tendered State currency and 
certificates, which the Legislature refused to receive, and 
the sale was declared a nullity because of this failure of 
the purchasers to pay the price. There was no charge of 
corruption made against any of the parties engaged in this 
first purchase, although they were fairly warned by the 
authorities of the general government that they could not 

* See original record in Washington. 

172 The Story of Georgia [Chap. V. 

lawfully sell the land to which the Indian title had not 
been extinguished and which they proposed to buy.-j- 

In 1794 the land was still unsold. The soldiers were 
clamorous for money, the treasury was still empty, and 
there was little hope of replenishing it unless Georgia 
could realize something from her rather uncertain interest 
in these western lands. It was known they were for sale 
and five companies came forward to buy them. Four of 
these companies united and agreed to give Georgia five 
hundred thousand dollars in cash for her interest, the pur- 
chasers to take the titles as they were and to get rid of 
all difficulties and arrange matters with the general gov- 
ernment and with Spain and the Indians. These companies 
were the Georgia, the Upper Mississippi Company, the 
Georgia-Mississippi Company, and the Tennessee Land 
Company. These companies were not all Georgians, but a 
company of Georgians offered seven hundred thousand dol- 
lars for the property on somewhat different conditions. 

The combined companies bought the land, but Governor 
Mathews vetoed the bill. They then had another intro- 
duced which was not so objectionable to him, and it finally 

There was a sharp contest between the rival companies 
and much lobbying. There was a small party who was 
unwilling to sell at all, a larger one who preferred the 
Augusta company, and a majority who favored a sale to 
the consolidated companies. 

At last, after a long discussion, on February 7, 1795, the 
sale was made by a vote of 10 to 8 in the Senate, and 19 
to 9 in the House. 

The senators who voted for the bill were : Mr. King, Mr. 
Wright, Mr. Oneal, Mr. Wylie, Mr. Walton, Mr. Hampton, 
Mr. Cauthorn, Mr. Gresham, Mr. Thomas, and Mr. Mann. 

+ They were severely censured afterward, but not at that time. 


AND THE Georgia People. 17-3 

Those who voted against it were : Mr. Milledge, Mr. La- 
nier, Mr. Morrison, Mr. Irwin, Mr. Blackburn, Mr. Pope, 
Mr. Mitchell, Mr. Wood. 

The members of the House who voted for the sale of the 
lands were: Mr. T. P. Carnes, Mr. Longstreet, Mr. Gindrat, 
Mr. Lachlan Mcintosh (not General Mcintosh), Mr. Gres- 
ham of Greene, Mr. Mowbray, Mr. Gilbert, Mr. Moore, Mr. 
Howell, Mr. Musgrove, Mr. Harden, Mr. VVatkins, Mr. 
Stephen Heard, Mr. Worsham, Mr. Thomas Heard, Mr. 
Wilkinson, Mr. King, Mr. Rabun, Mr. Geo. Walker. 

The members who voted against it were : Mr. George 
Jones, Mr. D. B. Mitchell, Mr. John Jones, Mr. McNeal, 
Mr. Clement Lanier, Mr. Shepherd, Mr. J. B. Maxwell. 
(U. S. State papers.) 

The governor reluctantly signed the bill and it was a law. 
The members of the combined companies are not all given 
in Watkins's Digest, where alone the act is found, but as 
there given they were Senator Gunn, Judge McAlister, 
Judge Nathaniel Pendleton, George Walker, Nicolas Long, 
Thomas Glascock, Ambrose Gordon, Thos. Gumming, Jno. 
B. Scott, Jno. C. Nightingale, Wade Hampton, Zack Coxe, 
Mr. Maher. There were associated with them many whose 
names are not given, among them the celebrated Judge 
James Wilson of Pennsylvania. 

Among those whose bid was not accepted, but who tried 
to buy the lands for a little over a cent an acre, were General 
John Twiggs, Jno. Wereat, Wm. Gibbons, Wm. Few. 

No men stood higher in Georgia than the men who com- 
posed these several companies and the members of the 
Legislature who made the sale, and no men were in higher 
repute than some of these in an after time. The charge 
has been made, and is by many believed, that this sale was 
effected by corrupt means, and it has been known in history 
as the Yazoo fraud. 

It was charged that the companies who made the pur- 

174 The Story of Georgia [Chap. V^ 

chase bribed the men who sold the land by giving them 
shares in the land companies, and there was a color of truth 
to the charge brought out when it was found that all who 
voted for the sale did have shares of stock in the land com- 
pany except one man, Robert Watkins. The governor 
who signed the bill was never accused of being a participant 
in any of the profits. The members of the Legislature did 
have stock in the companies, but it was never proved that 
any one of them had not paid for his stock a fair price and. 
was guilty of selling his vote. 

The excitement on this subject did not, however, imme- 
diately follow the passage of the act. It was quietly ac- 
quiesced in, and but for the efforts of one man would prob- 
ably have received no further attention than had been given 
to the act of 1789. The first of the purchase money was 
paid, the title passed, when James Jackson, the senator 
from Georgia, in a series of articles signed Sicillius, vio- 
lently assailed the act. These articles appeared in the two 
papers in Georgia, the Gazette in Savannah and the Chronicle 
in Augusta. They attracted wide attention and secured 
general indorsement. General Jackson resigned his seat 
in the Senate and came home and ran for State senator from 
Chatham, with the avowed purpose of having the act repu- 
diated by the Legislature. The act was rescinded, and it 
was ordered that it be consumed by fire, and in front of the 
newly occupied State-house in Louisville the engrossed act 
was burned. 

The money paid was to be refunded to those who called 
for it, and the Legislature ordered that all record of the act 
should be expunged from official documents. 

The first digest of Georgia laws made by Watkins, for 
which the State had subscribed largely, was rejected be- 
cause it contained the odious act, and for a hundred years 
with the masses in Georgia the one thing needed to render 

1789-1800.] AND THE GEORGIA PEOPLE. 175 

a public man odious was to say he was connected with the 
Yazoo fraud. 

It is not my province to express any opinion on the issues 
involved, nor to take any part in the angry discussion of 
those days, but I think it due to the truth of history to 
make a full statement of the whole matter. That the sale 
was made legally there was no question, and though a free 
and sovereign State might repudiate the act of her officials 
and refuse to carry out an obnoxious measure, it was evident 
to all that if the matter could come before any court. State 
or Federal, the act would be recognized as regular; and it 
was quietly decided to end the discussion by rescinding the 
act and selling the land to the United States government, 
and leave it to settle with the claimants. This was done 
during the next decade, though in doing it the fiery Jack- 
son, one of the commissioners, became involved in a diffi- 
culty which resulted in a duel with Mr. James Seagrove, 
a representative of the United States. A treaty was made 
between "the two sovereignties,"* and Georgia thus sur- 
rendered her western lands. The price agreed on was 
Si, 500,000 in cash, and the extinction of the title of the 
Indians to all lands east of the Chattahoochee. 

At the time the sale was made, and for many years after- 
ward, the conviction was general that the sale was fraudu- 
lent and all connected with it were criminal, and Judge 
Chappel, in his pamphlet, is exceedingly severe on all who 
had part in it. I have confined myself to a simple state- 
ment of facts, and leave my readers to draw their own con- 
clusions. If these facts, which are easily verified, remove 
the odium which for this hundred years has rested on men 
whose character was otherwise untarnished, and show that 
there was no proof of criminal intent, and that this Legis- 
lature was not exceptional in being the only bribed body 

* Language of the treaty. 

176 The Story of Georgia [Chap. V. i 


in Georgia history, it ought to be a gratifying fact to all ; 

Georgians. i 

The Supreme Court of the United States in a celebrated ' 

decision on this subject did not admit any fraud, and sus- I 

tained the legality of the sale.* • 

The Legislature elected in 1795 was elected on the one j 

issue of repudiating and annulling the acts of the one j 

which preceded it, and Jared Irwin, a Scotch-Irishman by i 

descent but a native of North Carolina, who had been a i 

brave soldier and a famous Indian fighter, was chosen as ] 

There was little difficulty encountered in carrying any i 
measure which looked to the undoino- of that which had 


been done the year before, and as soon as the acts could be ■ 
passed the act of 1794 was declared null and void, and the 
order was made to return the money paid to those who i 
applied for it. g 

The excitement in the State rose very high. It was | 
openly charged that every man in the Legislature who | 
voted for it but one had shares in the company and was 
corruptly influenced, and one man at least lost his life be- 
cause of his course. 

The list I have given of the members of the House con- j 
tain the names of men whose reputation was never assailed 
before. It is I think clearly shown that the members of 
the Legislature and many others had shares in the venture, | 
but it has never been shown that they did not come hon- i 
estly by them or designed to defraud the State. ^ 

While there may be some question as to whether those 
connected with the Yazoo act were guilty of fraudulent ] 

* I have referred to all the sources of information on this subject acces- 
sible to me, and while each separate statement has been carefully estab- 
lished, I have not attempted to support each by designating the place where it 
is to be found. The books referred to are Stevens's History, White's Statis- 
tics, Chappel's Tract, VVatkins's Digest, U. S. State papers, the Georgia Ga- 
tette, Journal of the Legislature, Gilmer's Georgians, Cranch Reports, Vol. 6. 


AND THE Georgia People. 177 

intent, there can be none that the Pine-barren frauds, were 
many of them frauds pure and simple. These frauds were 
the securing of fictitious grants to immense areas of pine 
lands in the unsettled parts of Georgia, chiefly Montgom- 
ery county. It is needless to enter now into a detailed 
statement of how these frauds were brought about; how, 
as will appear from a study of the list of headrights append- 
ed to this history, grants for not only thousands of acres 
were made, but hundreds of thousands, where not a single 
condition had been met. Men had granted under the 
great seal five hundred thousand acres of land, not one 
foot of which had been legally secured and not an acre of 
which they had in possession. How many grants of large 
bodies of barren land were legal we have no means of 
knowing, but all the large grants of 1794 and 1795 are 
suspicious, and nearly all of them were repudiated. It 
was never designed by the men who secured the grants to 
take possession of them, but it is possible that those in 
whose names they stand were innocent purchasers. 

Judge Chappel in his "Reminiscences" recovers this almost 
lost chapter in Georgia history, and as late as the year 
1899 n^sf^ have appeared in Georgia with old grants to 
land which never existed. These grants were all profess- 
edly located in Washington, or what was afterward Eman- 
uel, Johnson and Laurens counties, and a much larger 
amount was granted in the new county of Montgomery, 
which was cut off from Washington. There were granted 
altogether over seven million acres — more land than was 
to be found in all the territory of the county. 

The State repudiated nearly all these grants and can- 
celled the patents, and no lands were actually taken under 
them; but the speculators who had secured possession of 
the fraudulent patents sold them to parties ignorant of the 
true state of things, and an earnest effort has been made for 

178 The Story op Georgia [Chap. v.. 

many years by the defrauded purchasers of worthless scrip to- 
secure from the State some compensation for their losses. 

Judge Chappel, who was in the Legislature and on a. 
committee to look into this question, in 1839, has given a 
full account of these Pine-barren frauds in his interesting 
" Reminiscences," 

A convention had been called by the Legislature of. 
1794 to revise the Constitution, and it met in the spring^ 
of 1795. It was composed of the following members: 

Chatham — Josiah Tattnall, Jr., Thos. Gibbons. 

Mcintosh — ^Jos. Clay, John Wereat. These gentlemen, 
did not live in Mcintosh but were permitted to represent 
it and were elected by the electors in that county. 

Burke — B. Davis, D. Emanuel, Thos. King. 

Elbert — L. Higginbottom, S. Heard, W. Barnett. 

Glynn — Jno. Girradeau. 

Greene — David Gresham, Phil Hunter, W. Fitzpatrick.. 

Richmond — John Milton, Geo. Walker, Phil Clayton. 

Screven — B. Lanier, Wm. Skinner, P. R. Smith. 

Warren — Levi Pruitt, Jno. Cobbs, P. Goodwin. 

Washington — John Rutherford, Geo. Franklin, R. Wil-^ 

Wilkes — B. Catchings, Silas Mercer, D. Cresvvell. 

It made no changes in the Constitution and only a few 
additions to it, and referred the question of repudiating the- 
sale of the Yazoo land to the succeeding Legislature. 

This convention made provision for another convention' 
which should meet in 1798 and which met accordingly.. 
It was the largest which had ever assembled in Georgia^, 
and the ablest. All the previous Constitutions had pro- 
hibited ministers of the gospel from being members of the 
General Assembly. f 

Jesse Mercer, a sterling young Baptist preacher, was a .' 
member of the convention, and when it was proposed to- '. 
introduce the same provision into the new Constitution, he- • 


AND THE Georgia People. 179 

proposed to amend by excluding also lawyers and doctors. 
The amendment resulted in having the whole provision re- 
jected, and since that time it has been no disqualifica- 
tion for a member of the Legislature to be a minister of the 

The convention was composed of the following dele- 
gates : 

Bryan — ^Jos. Clay, J. B. Maxwell, Jno Pray. 

Burke — Benj. Davis, Jno. Morrison, Jno. Milton. 

Bulloch — James Bird, Andrew E. Wells, Charles McCall. 

Camden — James Seagrove, Thos. Stafford. 

Chatham — James Jackson, James Jones, George Jones. 

Columbia — ^James Simms, W. A. Drane, Jas. McNeal. 

Effingham — John King, John London, Thos. Polhill. 

Elbert — Wm. Barnett, R. Hunt, Benj. Mosely. 

Franklin — A. Franklin, R. Walters, Thos. Gilbert. 

Glynn — Jno. Burnett, Jno. Cowper, Thos. Spalding. 

Greene — Geo. W. Foster, Jonas Fouche, Jas. Nisbet. 

Hancock — Chas. Abercrombie, Thomas Lamar, Matthew 

Jefferson — Peter Carnes, Wm. Fleming, R. D. Gray. 

Jackson — George Wilson, James Pittman, Joseph Hum- 

Liberty — James Cochran, James Powell, James Dun- 

Lincoln — Henry Ware, G. Wooldridge, Jared Grace. 

Mcintosh — Jno. H. Mcintosh, Jas. Gignilliat. 

Montgomery — Benjamin Harrison, John Watts, John 

Oglethorpe — John Lumpkin, Thos. Duke, B. Pope. 

Richmond — R. Watkins, G. Jones. 

Screven — Lewis Lanier, J. H. Rutherford, Jas. Oliver. 
^- Washington — John Watts, Geo. Franklin, Jared Irwin. 
^^ Warren — John Lawson, A. Fort, W. Stith. 

Wilkes— M. Talbott, B. Talliferro, J. Mercer. 

180 The Story of Georgia [Chap. V. 

This convention formed a Constitution which was not 
materially changed until after the war between the States. 
The ablest men in the State, men of the broadest culture 
and the strongest minds, were in the body which formed it, 
and the instrument was worthy of the men who gave it life. 
The convention was pronounced in its condemnation of 
what it believed to be a gigantic fraud, and made stringent 
provisions against a repetition of such an occurrence. 

General Jackson having now secured his ends, was elected 
governor, and the Legislature chosen was in perfect accord 
with him. He had rather a stormy time as governor. He 
had denounced many of the leading men in Georgia as 
conspiring to rob the State. He was devoid of fear, and 
pursued his foes with ferocity, and they were not disposed 
to spare him. He was very bitter toward the Watkins 
family, and had Colonel Watkins arrested and tried by 
court-martial for having taken, without the consent of the 
commander-in-chief, Jackson himself, some old Indian guns 
which were in the arsenal in Augusta, with which Watkins 
armed his militia on a muster day. John Berrien, the 
treasurer of the State, who had been a gallant ofificer during 
the Revolution, had been victimized by a dishonest clerk 
who had made way with some of the funds offered to the 
treasury by the Yazoo purchasers, and which the State had 
refused to receive. The treasurer promptly made good the 
loss out of his private property, but he was impeached for 
embezzlement, and he believed the prosecution was orig- 
inated by the governor. In neither case was there convic- 
tion,* but so bitter was the feeling that there was more than 
one street brawl and duel resulting in a bloody end. 

The conflict between the Federal and Republican parties 
was now very fierce. It had begun during the latter years 

* I found these forgotten facts in an old pamphlet, kindly given me by Mr, 
Garlick, in Waynesboro, Ga., in which there was an official report of the \ 
court-martial and impeachment trial. . 


AND THE Georgia People. 


of General Washington's rule, and had become very serious 
during the days of John Adams. The feeling in Georgia 
was very intense. The governor was a Republican of most 
decided convictions, and so was the main body of the 
people. It would seem from the vote of 1796, when Jack- 
son received 6,200, Abercrombie 4,357, Barnett 3,965, 
Thomas Glascock 2,644, George Walton 2,357, John Milton 
1,042, that Jackson, Tel- 
fair and Barnett were Re- 
publicans, and Glascock, 
Walton and Milton were 
Federalists.* The Re- 
publicans were largely in 
the majority, and Abra- 
ham Baldwin and James 
Jackson were elected 
senators. Governor Jack- 
son then resigned his 
place as governor and re- 
turned to the Senate. 

The rush of immigrants 
to upper Georgia during 
this period was constant, 
and the State doubled its 
population in ten years. 

The lands were given away and the Virginians and North 
Carolinians came in great colonies to take up headrights 
and make settlements. These newcomers were of all 
classes. Many of them had little property other than they 
could bring on a pack-horse, but some of them had a 
few slaves. They built their cabins in the wilderness. 
A small smoky cabin with a dirt floor was the home of 
most of them. They came mainly from Virginia, and the 

* I am indebted for this fact to my young friend, Professor Phillips, of the 
University of Georgia. 

Abraham Baldwin. 


182 The Story of Georgia [Chap. V. \ 

best blood of England was found in the veins of many an im- i 
migrant who had but little education and but little property. ! 
There was a very large immigration from middle North j 
Carolina of Scotch-Irish people who came to Warren, Han- 
cock and Wilkes. The farms taken by them were gener- 
ally small, two hundred acres being, as a rule, the size of a ] 
farm. They raised cattle, sheep, hogs and horses, and as a \ 
rule aimed only at first to make a living. In our study of 1 
the counties the features of every-day life will be more 
clearly brought out. 1 

During the period under survey the first Catholic church ^ 
in Georgia was founded by a body of Maryland Catholics i 
who settled in what was then Wilkes, and afterward Talia- 
ferro county. The Catholics had been forbidden a settle- 
ment in Georgia during the colonial days, but after the j 
Revolution, when there was freedom of religious worship i 

they began to come into the seacoast city of Savannah and 
a number of refugees from Hayti went to Augusta, and 
in i802 a church was built in Savannah, but according to 
Evans, who is very accurate, they had a congregation in 
Wilkes in 1794. 

There was little prosperity in any of the churches during 
this period. The bitterness of politics, the wild specu- 
lation in lands, and the general excitement aroused by the 
Yazoo sale, with its fierce antagonism, were not favorable 
to the progress of religion, and the churches all declined. 

It was impossible under the circumstances of the pio- 
neers for regular schools to be conducted, and many a man 
who owned in after time one thousand acres of land could 
barely write his name, and very many women of the best 
families were never a day in a schoolroom. The want of 
education among the better classes in upper Georgia re- 
sulted largely from the state of things we have just seen. 
The same thing was true except in rare cases in Southern 
Georgia. Governor Gilmer says his first teacher was a 

1789-1800.] AND THE GEORGIA PEOPLE. 183 

vagabond sailor, a cruel disciplinarian who used to whip 
the children on cold days for exercise. He was a thief 
■and fled the country. 

In that inimitable book "Georgia Scenes," there is a 
graphic picture of the " Turn-out," in which Mr. St. John, 
the Yankee teacher, after a brave fight with his pupils, 
came out second best; and Mr. Malcolm Johnston, in his 
"Dukesboro Tales," presents a realistic picture of the old- 
iield school after the century began. The house of the old- 
field school was of logs, the seats were backless benches 
made of split logs. The light came into the schoolrooms 
from an opening in tiie logs, closed merely with a shutter 
of clapboards. The teacher began his school at seven in 
the morning in summer and closed near sunset, and in 
winter began as soon as it was possible for the scholars to 
get to school after the sun was up. There was little studied 
besides, in the language of the times, the three R's, "readin', 
ritin', and rithmetic," and it was considered by no means 
best for girls to study arithmetic. For these services the 
school-teacher received the full payment of fifty cents per 
•month, payable generally in provisions. 

Among the amusements of the people at that period and 
for a score of years afterward, were gander-pulling, horse- 
racing, shooting-matches, and country dances. Each man 
owned a Kentucky rifle with a long barrel, a delicate trig- 
ger and accurate sight. Accustomed from his boyhood to 
shoot the rifle, the frontiersman became wonderfully expert 
and was proud of his skill. To hit the bull's-eye with 
every bullet was the aim of the rifleman. The crowds met 
at the cross-roads, a beef was to be shot for, and each man 
paid his fair share of what the beef was worth, which was 
generally about twenty-five cents. The mark was set up 
and the best shot had the choice of one of the quarters 
into which the beef was divided. 

The quarter race was another favorite sport. Wherever 

184 The Story of Georgia [Chap. V. 

there was a cross-roads grocery there was a race-track of 
a quarter of a mile. The races were between the horses 
from the farms. The bets were small generally, a quart of 
whisky or peach brandy. 

Gander-pulling was another favorite amusement. The 
feathers were clipped short on the bird's neck, which was 
then greased or soaped. The poor bird was suspended 
from a bar between two poles. The horseman dashed 
under the bar at full speed and caught as he ran the neck 
of the gander and endeavored to pull off its head. The 
rider who succeeded in tearing the head from the body of 
the doomed bird had the body for his pay. 

The country dance, so graphically described by Judge 
Longstreet, was universal until it was driven away by the 
opposition of the Baptists and Methodists in the early 
years in the century. 

The fight in the ring, for the championship, was as cer- 
tain as the crowd gathered. In every county there was a 
best man. He was the champion but not the unchallenged 
king of the ring. Bob Stallings and Bill Durham were 
not fictitious characters, and the fight so graphically de- 
scribed by Judge Longstreet was such as was seen on every 
justice court day for many years after the settlement of 
Georgia. One of the first laws ever passed by the Georgia 
Legislature was to punish biting and gouging. 

These barbarous customs were not confined to the hum- 
bler classes, for in a rough-and-tumble fight between two 
great politicians, distinguished lawyers both, one of them 
said, to prevent the other from gouging him, he caught his 
finger in his mouth and bit it to the bone. Disgusting as 
these details are, they are history. 

Horses were abundant; they were cheap and were indis- 
pensable to the farmer, however small his farm, and no 
man was too poor to own one. Horse-swapping was a fine 
art, and a horse-jockey was a regular professional who 


AND TiiK Georgia People. 185 

prided himself on his ability to palm off a poor plug on 
an unsuspecting victim. 

The drinking habits of the people were fearfully bad. 
Everybody drank, many to excess, nearl}'- all moderately. 
No one condemned drinking except the Methodists, whose 
general rules forbade all drinking except in cases of neces- 
sity, which cases were, alas! too common. 

To distil corn whisky and peach brandy was not at all rep- 
rehensible, and one of the best men in Georgia, an enthu- 
siastic and liberal Methodist, who, because he thought sla- 
very was wrong, freed all his slaves, left his still to his son, 
who was himself a Methodist class-leader. To get drunk 
was mildly blamable, but to drink in moderation was tem- 

The pcDple as a body were honest and truthful, and as 
considerate of women as a knight-errant. They were good 
husbands and tender fathers. They feared no peril, and 
shrank from no hardship. Most of them had been brought 
Up on the frontiers of Virginia and North Carolina, or Geor- 
gia, and had never known restraint, and were as free as the 
deer on their hills. 

There were now two Georgias — the old Georgia around 
and below Savannah, and the new Georgia which was above 
and west of Augusta. In these the social life was very dif- 
ferent. The low-country had rallied rapidly after the Rev- 
olution, and society had taken on again the features it had 
borne before the war came. It had not as yet recovered 
entirely from the devastating effects of the war, but was 
rapidly doing so. In Columbia and Wilkes life had to be- 
gin over again after the war closed, and on the Oconee fron- 
tier everything was in a formative state. In the eastern 
counties of the up-country the rudeness of the first days of 
frontier life was now gone from some of the homes, and the 
comforts and even elegancies of life were to be found. The 
best homes were still double log cabins, but they had tight 

186 The Story of Georgia [Chap. V. 

roofs and stone chimneys, and there was now more than 
one room for the entire family. 

Perhaps the account given of Wilkes and Greene in the 
last chapter is as accurate a picture of life in the up-country 
as I can give. The amusements of the people were of a 
rude kind, but were much the same as were to be found on 
the border in all the States where Virginians were largely 

There is nowhere else so graphic and exact an account 
of social conditions of this period as are found in the writ- 
ings of Judge Longstreet, and in a sketch written by the 
Judge, and only lately published by Bishop Fitzgerald, 
there is in his story of the "Rise and Fall of Darby An- 
vill" a most interesting statement of the condition of 
things in middle Georgia just before the beginning of the 

Darby Anvill was an ignorant but thrifty Virginia black- 
smith who aspired to a place in the Legislature, and in giv- 
ing an account of the campaign the Judge brings out a fine 
picture of the motley company who took up headrights in 
upper Georgia. Although these plain, uneducated, inde- 
pendent, narrow-minded people had in many cases sprung 
from the best English and Scotch stock, they had had no 
advantages of education, and were in the main people of 
little property, but in every county there were a few people, 
doctors, lawyers and teachers, and a few preachers, who 
were recognized because of their culture and position as 
rightful leaders. 

The wise and witty story of the Judge brings out so 
vividly the two classes that his own account is better than 
any which another can give. 

Darby the blacksmith had become ambitious to go to the 
Legislature. Some of his friends had espoused his cause, 
and the intelligent few were shocked at his impudence. 
The little extracts from the sketch of the Judge gives an 


AND THE Georgia People. 187 

accurate rendering of the dialect, as well as a true picture 
of the rural people of the humbler class. 

T^ 'T" ^* ^p flfr ^P 

"Well," said Jimmy Johns, "may I say you is a candi- 

"Jimmy, you is a free man, and has a right to say what 
you please." 

"And I am a free man and I'll say what I please, too," 
said Job Snatch. 

"And so am I," said Seth Weed. 

"Why, what's got into these boys," chuckled old Darby. 
"I believe they are gwine to make me a can'date, whether 

I will or no. I did not know I had so much pop'larity." 


"Darby," inquired Smith, "is it possible that you are a 
candidate for the Legislature?" 

"Why not?" said Anvill, with a blush. 

"Why, you are utterly unqualified; you will disgrace 

"I know," said Anvill, "that I'd make a mighty poor 
out speakin' agin' lawyers, but I reckon as how I could vote 
as good as them." 

"You are mistaken. Darby," said Jones; "it requires a 

better head to vote right than to speak right." 

* * * ^ * « 

"Now, Mr. Smith, you say I'd disgrace myself to go to 
the 'Sembly, and I reckon it's so, for I'm like my neighbors 
here, hard-working people, what hain't got no business do- 
ing nothin' but workin' for great folks and rich folks, no- 
how. Now, I want to ax you a few questions, and firstly 
of the first place, to begin at the beginnin', hain't a poor 
man as free as a rich man? " 


"And didn't they fight for liberty as well as rich ones?" 


188 The Story of Georgia [Chap. v. 

"Well, hain't they as honest as rich men?" 

"No doubt of it." 

"Well, if a poor man is as free as a rich man, and they 
fit for "liberty as well as them, and is as honest, how comes 
it that some people that's the smartest in the world votes 
for nobody havin' votes but them that's got land?" 

^ ^ ^ ^ '7F 

I have merely made this extract to give a clearer insight 
into the state of society than could be secured from any 
description. As the lands were given away all classes 
found homes in the new settlements, and men of the class 
of the ambitious blacksmith were side by side and equals 
before the law with those whose pride of family rose as high 
in their Georgia cabins as in their ancient Virginia homes. 

It was during this period that an invention was made at 
Mulberry Grove, near Savannah, that had an influence on 
the world's future greater than perhaps any other invention 
of that century then closing. It was the invention of the 
cotton-gin. Eli Whitney, a young New Englander, and a 
kinsman of Mrs. General Green, had come on a visit to his 
aunt at Mulberry Grove. At that time the cotton produced 
on the plantations was generally prepared for the loom by 
laboriously picking the seed from it by hand. It was a 
slow process, and what was called a cotton-gin was invented, 
which consisted of two rollers through which the lint was 
drawn. It was turned by hand, and was of but little value. 

A Mr. Jos, Eve, of the Bermudas, invented a machine of 
the same order on a larger scale. This was better and was 
in use for many years on the sea island cotton plantations, 
still it worked but slowly. Whitney put his head to work, 
and finally fell on the idea upon which the modern gin is 
constructed. It has been said that Mrs. General Green 
made a suggestion which resulted in his perfecting it so as 
make it useful. He found it somewhat difficult to get a 
patent, and after filing his application and securing a caveat 


AND THE Georgia People. 189 

he put the gins, or machines as they were called, to work 
in sundry places. The idea of his gin was seized by Jacob 
Lyons, who made further improvements on it and began to 
manufacture the machines in Columbia county. There was 
a long and expensive litigation, and Whitney's claim to the 
invention was established, but he profited little by it. 
There were but few machines set up until after the begin- 
ning of the new century. 

We turn our attention to the counties formed during this 


Elbert county was laid off from Wilkes in 1 790, and 
named in honor of General and Governor Elbert. It was 
one of the first settled parts of Wilkes, and much that has 
been said of Wilkes refers to Elbert. When laid off it in- 
cluded a part of Hart and Madison. The land was of four 
sorts: Rich red hills covered with grand forests; beau- 
tiful valleys along the streams, and a wide area of what 
was regarded as almost waste land, the flat woods; and the 
thin gray lands covered with post-oaks. These red lands 
and valleys were very fertile and attracted the Virginians, 
who were seeking homes in a new country, and who were 
seeking rich lands to grow tobacco. 

There was a large area known as the flat woods, where 
wild grasses grew luxuriantly. The lands were suited for 
pasturage but not for culture, and for many years were 
not valued highly. Of late these lands have been among 
the best in the county, being rendered productive by the 
liberal use of kainit. 

The first settlers, according to Mr, White and others, 

Dr. Bibb, Wm. Brown, A. Brown, Wm. Barnett, Billy 
Allen, James Bell, P. M. Wyche, Jos. Deadwyler, David 
White, Dozier Thornton, Thos. Maxwell, R. Tyner, William 

190 The Story of Georgia [Chap. V, 

Key, William Grimes, J. Watkins, Colonel Jack Howard, 
Nehemiah Howard, Peter Oliver, Wm. Rucker, N. High- 
smith, P. Duncan, Wm. Haley, Wm. Ward, E. Shackleford, 
W. Woods, Middleton Woods, Stephen Heard, D. Oliver, 
J. Cason, W. Brown, "\^^_Moss, Wm. Tait, Enos Tait, Zimri' 
Tait, Robert L. Tait, James Alston, Wm. Alston, Ralph. 
Banks, Wm. Hodges, S. Wilson, Thos. Carter, John A. 
Banks, Samuel Davis the father of Jefferson Davis, Absalom, 
Davis, S. Nelson, Thos. Burton, Isham Thompson, Wm. 
Hodges, S. Nelson, J. A. Carter. 

Some of these came just before the Revolution, some of 
them in the early years of it, and many more of them just 
after its close. 

There were but few people of property who came with 
the first settlers, but there were not a few who had some 

There was much rudeness in the frontier life of those 
trying days, when the wild Cherokee and the crueller Tory 
menaced the newcomers. During the Revolution there 
was a bitter contest with the Tories, and among the more 
famous of the Whigs of those days was a woman, Nancy 
Hart. She is the only woman Georgia ever honored so far 
as to name a county after her. It must be admitted from, 
all accounts that she was by no means comely in features, 
nor amiable in temper, nor choice in her language, and the 
report is that she was said by the frontier people to have 
been a "honey of a patriot but a devil of a wife." This I 
think is a slander. 

The old governor, in an amusing chapter devoted to her,, 
from which most of the stories concerning her are drawn, 
may somewhat overstate things about her, and make- 
her a ruder woman than she really was; but she certainly 
was an intrepid Whig, and doubtless captured several. 
Tories and had them safely hung. In her old age the gov- 

1789-1800.] AND THE GEORGIA 1*E0PLE. 191 

ernor says she became a shouting Methodist and was recog- 
nized by all as a good woman. She married an uncle of 
Thomas Hart Benton, the famous senator, and the sterling 
old statesman was always proud of his connection with 
her. It is certain she was a woman of substance and fam- 
ily and integrity, and her family was among the best. 

Land was very cheap and living very simple, and Gov- 
ernor Gilmer has not drawn on his fancy for the picture 
he has painted of the first years of the Wilkes and Elbert 

There were few opportunities to secure an education. A 
large number of the wills and deeds are signed with a 
mark, and there were but few women whose signatures are 
attached to legal instruments before 1811 who could write 
their names. 

After the coming of the Broad river people in 1785 
there was a steady influx of people of wealth into Elbert, 
and while wills show much illiteracy and much poverty, 
they also show that Elbert was now being peopled with a 
class of substantial Virginians, who brought some culture 
and wealth with them into what was then regarded as the 
wilds of Georgia, 

The Virginians who largely settled Elbert believed to- 
bacco was the only crop which could be raised to profit, 
and chose these lands with an eye to its culture, but the 
first comers were compelled to wrestle with the question of 
securing subsistence in these remote quarters. They were 
obliged to have some ammunition and some tools, and they 
bought them from the traders v/ho had their supplies at 
Fort James, or perhaps in Augusta, but they had nothing 
but peltry to rely on for barter. During the war the people 
of Elbert were reduced to great straits, and after it was 
over for some years there were few slaves and but little 
raised for market. The nearest market was Augusta and 


192 The Story of Georgia [Chap. V. 

their visits to it were few. There was little tobacco and no 
cotton made for market till after 1805. The wealth of the 
county was in cattle and hogs. 

The great rush of immigrants who sought the rich county 
of Wilkes when the Virginians came in such numbers rap- 
idly peopled that part of it which was afterwards Elbert. 
The land was granted by headright, and the better sections 
of the county were soon taken. There was for ten years 
after peace was declared a constant peril from the Chero- 
kees, who were not fifty miles from the Elbert frontier, 
but there was nothing that could deter the eager land- 
hunter, and the country became quite populous. 

Petersburg, or old Fort James, was now selected as an 
inspecting place for the tobacco which was to find a market 
in Europe. Slave-owners came to the promising country 
in numbers before the century began. Virginians of wealth 
settled on Broad river and bought up the valuable lands in 
the valley of the Savannah. Petersburg became an impor- 
tant and bustling town. The tobacco, which was packed 
in large hogsheads, was shipped b}^ flatboats to Savannah, 
where it was sent direct to England. Petersburg mer- 
chants were exporters and importers, and goods were sold 
more cheaply there than in Augusta. Tobacco gave way in 
the first decade of the new century to cotton, and Petersburg 
beofan to decline. With the coming of the steamboats and 
the growth of Augusta and the abandonment of tobacco 
planting, its decay was rapid, and now not a house re- 

Elberton was laid out as soon as the county was organ- 
ized. It had no special advantages as a commercial town, 
and was overshadowed by the more vigorous Petersburg 
and Ruckersville, but it was healthy and well located; and 
while it never before the war between the States became a 
town of importance, it was the county site and a school 

1789-1800.] AND THE GEORGIA PeOPLE. 190 

center, and had a small and choice population. An acad- 
emy was established as soon as the county was laid out. 
It was incorporated and chartered, and the second female 
academy chartered in Georgia was in Elberton. 

With the decline of Petersburg Elberton was still over- 
shadowed by Ruckersville, nearer the river, where there 
was a bank and large warehouses, and it did a compara- 
tively small business. 

The goods sold in the county were brought up the river 
in flatboats or in wagons from Augusta. The cotton made 
in the county was sent down the river in boats or carried 
to Augusta in wagons. The small farmer, as in other sec- 
tions, gave way in the early part of the century to the 
large planter who had many slaves, and who could ship 
his scores of bales of cotton to the Augusta market. By 
1830 Elbert had become a county of great plantations, and 
the richer parts of the county were owned by a few large 
slave-owners. Some of these men of wealth lived in the 
village, but most of them in Wilkes on their plantations. 
It is the same story — negroes increased, lands grew poorer, 
and the Elbert county planter, finding he could not support 
his large family of blacks on the red hills of Elbert, re- 
moved his negroes to better lands on the rich bottoms of 
Mississippi, or the black lands of. Alabama, or to southwest 
Georgia. The poorer people went to the flat woods, or the 
black-jack ridges of what was afterward Hart, or' else to 
the cheap lands of the Cherokee counties. In 18 10 there 
were 7,582 whites and 4,574 slaves in Elbert; in 1830 there 
were 6,589 whites and 5,765 slaves, nearly as many slaves 
as white people in the county, and in 1850 the whites were 
6,692 and slaves 6,269. 

After the war, however, Elbert began, as all the older 
counties, to take on new life. The old planter who had 
bought but little and who had aimed to make everything at 


194 The Story of Georgia [Chap, v^ 

home, gave way to the new planter who traded near home 
and whose negro employees bought their goods from the 
country store, and trade began to be brisk. A railroad 
was a necessity, and largely through the enterprise of the 
Elbert people a branch road was built from Elberton to 
Toccoa. Afterward the Seaboard Air Line railroad passed 
through the village, and Elberton was transformed from a. 
country village into a city. 

The Virginia people who came into Elbert at its first set- 
tlement were many of them Baptists, and some of them- 
Methodists, and the first Methodist missionaries came into 
this county, then known as Wilkes, and began their work. 
Beverly Allen, a scion of a prominent family in Virginia, who 
was a Methodist preacher, and long but incorrectly regarded 
the first Methodist preacher in Georgia, had his home in 
this county. He was a man of rare gifts and of great in- 
fluence, but become involved in trouble in South Carolina 
and was expelled from the church. He then became a 
merchant in Elbert, and incurred heavy debts to eastern 
creditors. He was sued in the United States court, and 
when Marshall Forsyth in Augusta, where he was at the 
time, made an effort to arrest him, Allen killed him and fled 
to Kentucky. Here he became a prominent physician and 
a wealthy man. 

Some of the oldest Methodist churches in Geors^ia are 
still found in Elbert, and the first Methodist conference 
met at the forks of Broad river, then, in Elbert now in 
Madison county. 

The Baptists, the only other denomination of any size in 
Elbert, have had large success among its people, and the 
church has sent out not a few prominent preachers to other 

There are handsome churches of both of these denomi- 
nations in Elberton now, and quite a number of each scat- 
tered throughout the county. 

1789-1800.] AND THE GEORGIA PeoPLE. 195 

The Rev. John Andrew, father of Bishop Andrew, lived 
in this county. He was a soldier in the Revolution, and 
the first native Georgian who became a traveling Methodist 
preacher. He was a nephew of Benjamin Andrew, the 
staunch patriot of Liberty county and speaker of the As- 
sembly. Mr. Andrew was a country schoolmaster when he 
lived in Elbert. 

Wm. Wyatt Bibb, who after having been a senator from 
Georgia was governor of Alabama, lived at Petersburg. 

Charles Tait, also a senator, was from a leading family 
in this county. 

Samuel Davis, the father of President Davis, came to 
this county, and removed from it to Kentucky. He was a 
soldier in the Revolution. 

When Hart county was cut off from Elbert a large num- 
ber of the smaller landholders were taken from the old 
counties, leaving the bulk of the negroes in it. 

The first court held in Elbert was held in 1791 at the 
house of Thomas Carter. George Walton was the presidino- 
justice. This house was about six miles from Elberton, 
and like most of the larger houses of that day had a cellar. 
This cellar was used as a prison, and a man named Mc- 
Bride, charged with murder, was confined in it. He was 
convicted on Wednesday and hung on Friday. 

The first grand jury was: Stephen Heard, Moses Haynes, 
Richard Easter, Isham Thompson, Wm. Aycock, William 
Hatcher, Richard Gatewood, Ed McGay, James Crow, An- 
gus Johnson, Archer Walker, Edward Ware, James Shep- 
herd, James Patten, John Davis, Cornelius Sale, Oliver 
White, Wm. Hodge. 

At the present time there are few better counties in 
Georgia than Elbert. The magnificent forests which once 
crowned its hills have long since been destroyed, and even 
the forests of a second growth have been cut away, and 

196 The Story of Georgia [Chap. V. 

men cultivate as new ground in cotton land their grand- 
fathers planted in tobacco. 

There is in Elbert an inexhaustible supply of the finest 
monumental granite in America, and the most beautiful 
granite monuments in Georgia are prepared in Elberton. 

The court-house is a very handsome and convenient 
building, the churches unusually elegant, and the residences 
and storehouses attractive and tasty. 

There is a large cotton factory in the city, and other en- 
terprises of value. 

The city is well supplied with water furnished by a bold 
spring in the city itself. 


In 1790 the upper and western parts of Richmond county 
were made into Columbia, and at a much later period Co- 
lumbia itself was divided and McDuffie was formed. 

The eastern parts of the county along the Savannah river 
and the northern and western along Little river, and on the 
Kiokee and near Wrightsboro, were very fertile and were 
thickly settled before the Revolutionary war. The people 
distributed themselves into two main groups, one near 
Wrightsboro and the other on the Kiokee, near where Ap- 
pling now is. The settlers near Wrightsboro were many of 
them Quakers from North Carolina, but there were a con- 
siderable number of Virginians and Marylanders who set- 
tled in that neighborhood as early as 1770. 

The list of settlers in St. Paul's parish, which is found in 
the Appendix, is very largely composed of those who settled 
in this county. There was a large body of settlers in these 
neighborhoo,ds before the Revolutionary war. The lower 
part of the county and the southwestern part was a great 
pine forest, and for many years after the Revolution was 
not settled at all except by a few stock-raisers. 

1789-1800.] AND THE GEORGIA PeOPLE. 197 

The crowds of settlers who had located in this county 
before the Revolution had been kindly received and en- 
couraged by Governor Wright, and he was so great a 
favorite with them that they named their principal village 
Wrightsboro in his honor, and they had little sympathy 
with the agitators, whether in Boston or Savannah. Many 
had never seen a leaf of tea in all their lives, and cared 
little about taxation without representation, as they paid no 
taxes, and when the Liberty Boys began their revolution, 
at Governor Wright's request they almost to a man signed 
their protest against their course. 

It is certain that most of these people at the beginning 
of the war were poor men, who had not as yet done more 
than build their cabins and open a few fields. They had 
but few slaves and were as a rule uneducated, but it was 
also true that there was among them some of more than 
ordinary culture and people of some property. 

The Fews, the Candlers and the Lamars were amonaf 
these first comers. The Fews came from Wales to Penn- 
sylvania, thence into Maryland and into North Carolina, 
from which State they removed to Georgia. Of this dis- 
tinguished family we have spoken elsewhere.* 

The upper part of the county was wonderfully fertile. 
and along Little river and the various creeks which per- 
meated that portion of the county the newcomers made 
many settlements before the Revolution, and when the 
British took possession of Augusta this section was at once 
occupied by their troops, and as a large number of the 
people were patriots they were driven into exile. After the 
war ended they returned to their abandoned cabins and 
soon began to reestablish themselves. The population was 
very large and the settlers were very thrifty. The best 
class of Virginians and North Carolinians now came into the 
growing county. Columbia Court-house became a leadintr 

* See Chapter III. 

198 The Story of Georgia [Chap. V. 

town in the up-country and held its place for years. The 
land was given by headrights and two hundred-acre farms 
were opened all over the upper and eastern parts of the 
county. The towns of Wrightsboro and Brownsboro were 
the leading villages in the county. 

It was not long after the Revolution before the tide of 
prosperity began to rise, very high. Men with a number of 
slaves came from Virginia and settled plantations. Stock 
had unlimited pasturage, and the soil was remarkably fer- 
tile. Augusta was a near-by market and tobacco, thif tjf^le, 
found ready sale. By the beginning of the century there* 
was much wealth in the county and an unusual amount of 
intelligence. It was thickly settled, and when the cotton- 
gin was invented and the cotton industry began to be an 
item, Columbia became famous for its rapid advance in 
prosperity until there were few sections of the State in 
which there was more wealth and intelligence. The settlers 
were nearly all from Virginia and were not adventurers, 
but men of family and means. The Cobbs, Meriwethers, 
Hamiltons, Dawsons, Applings, Lamars, Fews, Candlers, 
Napiers, Crawfords, Carrs, Howards, and many others of 
that class settled in the county, and there was no part of 
the State in the early part of the century in which there 
was a more elegant society. 

The coming of Daniel Marshall, the first Baptist preacher 
in upper Georgia, and the formation of the Kiokee church 
in 1 771, we have already noted. 

Before the beginning of the century Moses Waddell, a 
young Presbyterian minister from North Carolina, came into 
the county and opened a school at Mt. Carmel, where 
W. H. Crawford and Jno. C. Calhoun were his pupils. 
There were many separate landholders at that time and a 
large number of pupils could be secured. 

The Methodists came into Columbia as early as they 
came into Georgia, and found some old Virginia friends 

1789-1800.] AND THE GEORGIA PeOPLE. 199 

awaiting their coming, and had prosperous churches in all 
sections of the county. 

There was an academy at Appling in the early part of 
the century, and a female school of high grade was estab- 
lished there in the thirties and flourished for a few years, 
and the usual old-field schools were found in every section 
of the county. 

We have already had a sketch of the distinguished 
family of Fews, who resided in this county. The grand- 
father of the famous Howell and Thomas R. R. Cobb died 
in this county, and his brother, Thomas Cobbs, was said to 
have been one hundred and ten years old when he died in 
this county, where he had lived for sixty years. 

During the first years of the century Columbia Court- 
house, as Appling was then called, was a center of wealth, 
intelligence, and influence. Abraham Baldwin, a young 
New Englander, who had graduated at Yale College, served 
as chaplain in the Revolution, studied law, came to Georgia, 
was admitted to the Georgia bar in Savannah, and came at 
once to Augusta and then to Columbia Court-house, where 
he made his home until his death. Few men ever did more 
for an adopted State, and few men were ever honored more 
highly than this gifted and excellent man. 

The famous Crawford family came to this county from 
Virginia before the Revolution, and some of its members 
were soon called to prominent places, and for over a hun- 
dred years this family have done the State good service. 
No county has furnished more families of distinguished 
Georgians than this old county. 

The story told of all these older counties must be told 
of Columbia. The plantations and negroes drove out the 
whites; but the red lands and the rich river plantations 
passed into the hands of comparatively few people, and 
as the tide of settlement rolled westward Columbia de- 
clined in population as far as white people were concerned, 

200 The Story of Georgia [Chap. V. 

but the poorer sections of the county along the Georgia 
railroad were gradually occupied, first by mill-men who 
made lumber, and then as places of healthy residences for 
Augusta people, and Harlem, twenty miles from Augusta, 
became a thriving village, and still is. 

With liberal fertilizing the pine lands have been made 
productive. The division of the county and the making of 
McDuffie has reduced it greatly in size and importance, but 
it is now improving in every way. 


Screven was laid out in 1793, and called Screven after 
the gallant general of that name. The county has some 
very fertile and much very poor land in its borders. On 
the creeks the land was famous for its fertility, but being 
what is known as rotten limestone, it was ver}^ unhealthy. 
The pine woods were healthy but very sterile. The popu- 
lation was scant and scattered, and schools were few and 
churches fewer for many years. 

White gives as early settlers in the county: Lewis 
Lanier, Henry White, Wm. Young, Rowland Roberts, Cap- 
tain Everett, Paul Black, W. Black, F. Womack, William 
Blackman, Richard Scruggs, R. Herrington, S. Pearce, N. 
Williamson, J. H. Rutherford, Jas. Boyd, Jno. Bonnell, H. 
Bryan, W. Rushing, Benj. Greene, Wm. Shepherd, R. 
Warren, J. Tanner, Jno. Fletchell, John Nevil, A. Bonnell, 
B. Lanier, M. Coleton, Wm. Pearce, D. Blackburn, John 
Jeffers, Wm. Ravvls, M. Green. 

It is evident from these names that the settlers, like those 
of Burke, came principally from Virginia and North Caro- 
lina. Some of them were people of some wealth, and a 
few of the settlers on the richer lands were people of 

Seaborn Jones, at one time speaker of the House and 

1789-1800.] AND THE Georgia People. 201 

long a distinguished lawyer in Augusta, spent his last years 
here on a lar^re estate known as Mill Haven. 

The larger part of the people lived at the first settle- 
ment in the pine woods, and were very poor and dissolute. 

Jacksonborough, the first county site, was so famous for 
its rough-and-tumble fights that it was said that the chil- 
dren went about the village after a court day with a saucer 
to gather up the eyes which had been gouged out.* 

Much of the county was looked upon as worthless, ex- 
cept as ranges for cattle. The timber near the river could 
be floated to Savannah, and that which was near the rail- 
road could be made into lumber; but much of the county 
was not accessible and was unopened. 

The building of a branch road has connected the distant 
parts of the county with the Central, improved methods of 
culture have made the pine lands profitable for farming 
purposes, and while the country, which at first was most 
famous for its fertility and in which there were large plan- 
tations and many slaves, is less prosperous, the county as a 
whole has grown very steadily and is now in better condi- 
tion than at any previous day. Churches and schools are 
now found in all parts of the county. 

In glancing at Burke and Effingham, from which Screven 
is taken, we have already largely described this county. 


Oglethorpe county was laid off from Wilkes in 1793. 
In giving an account of Wilkes I hav-e already glanced at 
this county, and many of those who are mentioned as citi- 
zens of Wilkes in the early days resided on that side of 
Broad river which was afterward included in Oglethorpe. 
Governor Mathews, Governor Gilmer's father and uncle, 
Frank Meriwether, Micajah McGhee, John Thomas, the 
Stuarts, the Floyds, the Howards, the Popes, and the Hills 

* White. 

202 The Story of Georgia [Chap. V. 

were among the early people who came to this section. A 
new county was a necessity. It was organized in 1793, 
and the first court was held three miles from Lexington in 

Oglethorpe has much the same history as the other mid- 
dle Georgia counties. It was settled at first by men of 
moderate means; the farms were small, the people thrifty. 
They prospered and soon acquired negro property; then, 
tempted by the new lands of the new counties, the small 
farmers sold out their farms, which were absorbed by the 
large plantations, and these in turn wore out their lands 
and went to richer fields. Those who remained in Og'le- 
thorpe found themselves in the same condition as the 
Wilkes, Greene and Burke planters. They had many ne- 
groes, much worn land, and but little besides. 

There was, however, much good land in the county, and 
there was a very fine class of industrious people. The old 
county has rallied to a considerable degree and is perhaps 
now in better condition than it has been for fifty years. 
The town of Lexington was at one time a very famous 
trade center, but its trade has long since been transferred 
to Athens; but it is a solid town, and perhaps one of the 
best representatives of the old Virginia county towns left 
in the State. It has a famous academy, which was the first 
academy endowed by private bequest in the State. It is a 
delightful Georgia town of the olden time. Crawford, 
Winterville and Maxeys are villages on the line of railway 
to Union Point. 

The first grand jury of Oglethorpe was: John Lumpkin, 
Robert McCord. John Marks, Joel Hurt, Andrew Bell, Jesse 
Clay, Charles Hay, John Collier, Richard Goolsby, Isaac 
Collier, John Garrett, John Shields, Robert Beaver, P. 
Thornton, Jeffrey Early, H. Edmondson, Wm. Pattie, Jas. 

In 1810 there were 6,862 whites and 5,435 slaves in the 

1789 1800.] 

AND THE Georgia People. . 203 

county; in 1830 there were 5,670 free and 7,940 slaves, and 
twenty years afterward there were 4,385 free and 7,874 
slaves; in 1890 the entire population was 16,951. 

The Baptists came 'into Oglethorpe in its earliest years, 
as did the Presbyterians and the Methodists, and the first 
camp-meeting held in Georgia was held in Oglethorpe 
county in 1802. It was a union meeting, in which all de- 
nominations were represented. 

Bishop Asbury, the Methodist bishop, visited this county 
before the beginning of the century, and after that was 
often in it. He says in one of his journeys "that as Ben- 
jamin Blanton, one of his preachers, was ill, he gave him 
his place in his carriage, and rode his stiff-jointed horse, 
that he would only ride to save souls or the health of a 

Chancellor Mell, who was a Baptist preacher, during the 
forty years of his connection with the University was the 
pastor of a Baptist church in the lower part of Oglethorpe 
county, and such was the universal favor with which he was 
regarded that that section was known as "Mell's Kinof- 

The Rev. John Newton, one of the first Presbyterian 
preachers in Georgia, was the pastor of the church at Beth- 
salem, near Lexington, in 1788; and on Broad river in 1809, 
under James Russell, there was a great revival among the 
Methodists, which brought into the church a large part of 
that remarkable community. Churches dotted the whole 
county, and during the days of slavery the Methodists had 
a missionary for many years, whose work it was to preach 
to the negroes. Among the Methodist churches is one 
known now and for a long time past as Cherokee Corner, 
so called because it was at that very spot that the dividing 
point between the Creeks and Cherokees was located, and 
up to a few years past the tree the surveyors marked a hun- 
dred years before was living. 

204 . The Story of Georgia [Chap. V. 

O^^lethorpe has been long noted for its culture and re- 
finement and for the number of its distinguished men. W. 
II. Crawford lived at a place called Woodlawn, now Craw- 
ford, a few miles from Lexington, and' is buried there. He 
was born in Virginia, and during the stirring days of the 
Revolution, while he was a lad, his father removed from 
Amherst county, Va., to Edgefield, S. C, and in 1783 he 
removed to Columbia county, Ga., which at that time was 
Richmond. The elder Crawford died before his son was 
orrown and the cares of the family fell on the youth. He 
taught school for awhile, then attended Hope Hull's 
school in Wilkes, and then Dr. Waddell's. He was an 
assistant teacher in the Augusta Academy while Charles 
Tait v.vas rector. He studied law and settled in Lex- 
ington in 1799. He was very handsome, very genial and 
eloquent, and became very popular with the up-country 
people, who were largely Virginians. He was sent by them 
to the Legislature soon after he settled in Lexington, and 
in 1806, when onlv thirty-four years old, he was elected 
United States senator. At the end of the term he was 
elected again. He soon evinced his great ability as a 
statesman, and after declining a place in Mr. Monroe's 
cabinet he was sent as minister to Paris. He returned to 
America and was secretary of war, and soon after sec- 
retary of the treasury. He was a favorite candidate for 
president in 1824, and the prospects of his election were 
very bright, when he was stricken with apoplexy. The 
stroke was not fatal, but his constitution was shattered and 
his intellect somewhat impaired. He was defeated, and 
appointed in Georgia to a judgeship. While on the bench, 
ten years after he received the first stroke, he died. Mr. 
Crawford was the leader of a party known as the Crawford 
party, and John Clarke, of whom we speak elsewhere, was 
his great political antagonist. The war between the two 
men was bitter and unrelenting until Mr. Crawford's death. 


AND THE Georgia People. 


He was a man of brilliant mind, a bitter hater, a fearless 
fighter. He antagonized Mr. Clay, Mr. Adams and Mr. 
Calhoun. They differed in everything with each other but 
agreed in their dislike to him, but he was always the victor 
over them all. 

Governor George R. Gilmer was born in this county and 
died in it. His father came with the Broad river settlers, 
and before Oglethorpe 
county was made in 1790 
George Rockingham Gil- 
mer was born. 

The father was a man 
of sterling character and 
of moderate fortune. He 
gave his son the best ad- 
vantages the country af- 
forded, and sent him to 
Dr. Waddell's famous 
school in South Carolina. 
The governor taught 
school for a few years in 
his youth, entered the 
army, and was five years 
an officer. He then studied 
law and settled in Lexinsf- 

ton, and entered public life as a member of the Legislature; 
then he was two years in Congress. In 1828 he was elected 
governor, and in 1836 was elected again. He then retired 
from public life and spent the rest of his days in Lexing- 
ton. He wrote in his old age a gossipy book on early 
Georgians, in which, with delightful egotism, he tells of 
himself and of the men and of the times he had known. 

Another of the men of distinction who was reared in 
Oglethorpe was Joseph Henry Lumpkin, long chief justice. 
He was a man of great beauty of character, whose dignity 

George R. Gilmer. 


The Story of Georgia 

[Chap, V. 

and suavity of manner was connected with the finest at- 
tainments as a lawyer and the highest capacity as a great 
jurist. He was an humble Christian, a great temperance 
advocate, and an incorruptible judge, at once the pride of 
his whole State as well as of the county which gave hinr. 

No county in Georgia has had a more distinguished class 

of inhabitants than Ogle- 
thorpe, and no county has 
sent to other sections of 
the South a finer class of 

Edmond McGhee, who 
was so noted as a princely 
planter in Mississippi, and 
a generous friend of re- 
ligion and education, who 
built a handsome church 
in New Orleans and lars^e- 
ly aided both a male and 
female college in Louisi- 
ana and Mississippi, spent 
his youth in Oglethorpe. 

The Gilmers, Meriweth- 
ers, Mathews, Marks and 

Joseph Henry Lumpkin. 

Jordans all went from this county. 


Greene was laid out in 1786, but in seven years its popu- 
lation had grown so rapidly that a new county was carved 
out of its southern extremity, and from Greene and Wash- 
ington one was made, known as Hancock, in honor of John 
Hancock. It was a large county and embraced all varieties 
of soil. There were the rich red hills, the fertile valleys 
along the rivers and creeks, heavily timbered with oaks and 

1789-1800.] AND THE GEORGIA PeOPLE. 207 

hickories, and the wide stretches of gray post-oak land and 

The Oconee river with its limpid waters formed its west- 
ern boundary, and the Ogeechee was on the east. A num- 
ber of large creeks and sparkling brooks dashed through its 
forests, and although the Indians were just over the Oconee 
river and were then hostile, the tide of settlement could not 
be stayed. 

The first settlers of Hancock, according to White, were: 
General H. Mitchell, Bollin Hall, Charles Abercrombie, 
General Adams, Henry Graybill, Joseph Bryan, William 
Rees, Jonathan Adams, John Montgomery, Jacob Dennis, 
Archibald Smith, T. Holt, T. Raines, J. Bishop, Isham 
Rees, M. Martin, R. Clarke, R. Shipp, F. Tucker, L. Barnes, 
W. Wyley, William Saunders, James Thomas, Jephtha Pope, 
Jonas Shivers, William Hardwick, L. Tatum, R. Moreland. 

One who examines this list and the one which follows 
will find that some of the first settlers of Hancock came 
from Jefferson, Burke and Columbia, while the bulk of them 
can be easily traced to the tide-water counties of Virginia 
and to North Carolina. 

In a list of accounts filed by the executor of the estate 
in Sparta of David Clements in 1801 there were these 

John Lewis, James Lucas, Jonathan Davis, Joseph Bon- 
ner, Simon Holt, John Dowdell, Alex Bellamy, Lindsay 
Thornton, Isaac Evans, John Shackelford, Robert Tucker, 
John Hall, William Harper, Thomas Winn, John Trippe, 
Dr. R. Lee, James Lamar, Thomas Lamar, Peterson Thweat, 
Captain Samuel Hall, Duncan McLean, R. Respass, Wm. 
Lawson, Job Taylor, Dudley Hargrove, Dr. John Pollard, 
Robert Montgomery, Seth Parham, Homer Holt, Jas. Huff, 
Philip Turner, Dixon Hall, Peter Flournoy, William Hard- 
wick, Thomas Byrd, Frances Lawson, Thos. Glenn, Gabe 
Lewis, David Lewis, Jos. Lewis, Arch Lewis, Little Reese,. 

208 The Story of Georgia [Chap. V. 

John Freeman, William Lewis, Isaac Dennis, John Dudley, 
Thomas Jones, William Kelly, Isaac Dunegan, John Dyer, 
William Johnson, Malachi Brantley, Francis Lewis, BoUin 
Hall, George Lewis, George Weatherby, John Perkins, Jas. 
Parnell, Thomas Broadnax, John Cain, Jos. Middlebrooks, 
H. Jones, R. Tredewell, Woodruff Scott, John Sasnett, Jas. 
Bonner, Isham West, Thos. Carney, Isaac Wilson, John 
Brewer, Thomas Carter, Drury Thweat, Jas. Arthur, Daniel 
Melson, S. Parham, Harris Brantley, William Hatcher, C. 
Leonard, W. Collier, C. R. Bonner, S. Kirk, Isham Loyd, 
Andrew Jeter, Isham Askew, James Childs, Joel Reese, 
Thomas Pentecost, James Hamilton, William Powell, Ben 
Harper, Robert Simmons, E. Bomar. 

There was evidently a much larger white population in 
the rural parts of Hancock in 1800 than there is now in 
1900. There were only thirteen hundred slaves in Greene, 
of which Hancock was a part, in 1790. 

Tobacco had been the staple in Hancock and Greene to 
1800, but with the coming in of cotton culture it ceased 
to he cultivated. Hancock became rapidly peopled after 
1800 with the wealthy people of Virginia and North Caro- 
lina. The delightful "Dukesboro Tales" of Richard Malcolm 
Johnston have their location in this county, in the village of 
Powellton, and the pictures which he gives are portrayals 
of real people. 

The first settlements of Hancock were in the northern 
and eastern sections of the county on Shoulderbone creek 
and the Ogeechee river. The hills were heavily timbered, 
and when cleared were very productive. The county was 
exposed to the Indians, but it was soon settled. 

There were two classes of settlers before the century be- 
gan — the slave-owner who had a few negroes, a plantation 
of perhaps four hundred acres, great herds of cattle, flocks 
of sheep and droves of hogs, and the sturdy yeoman who 

1789-1800.] AND THE GEORGIA PeOPLE. 209 

had little besides his hands and his preempted land of two 
hundred acres. 

At first there was little difference in social features, but 
as years sped on the division between the classes became 
marked, and, as in all middle Georgia, the plantation ab- 
sorbed the farm and the planter took the place of the 

Hancock offered special attractions to the North Caro- 
lina and Virginia slave-owners, and they moved into it rap- 
idly after the opening of the cotton industry in the begin- 
ning of the century. 

Schools became a necessity, and in the thickly settled 
parts of the county school villages sprang up. Mt. Zion 
became a center for the Presbyterians, where Mr. Carlisle 
P. Beman had a famous classical school, and Powellton, 
where Jesse Mercer had his home and near where Rev. 
Malcolm Johnston and Governor Rabun lived, was a famous 
Baptist village with an academy. 

Sparta was without a schoolhouse or a church at the 
beginning of the century, but there was preaching in the 
court-house, and in i802 David Clements left a bequest to 
build a church and gave a lot of ground on which an acad- 
emy was to be built. This academy was probably where 
the graded school building is now located. 

The Baptists and Presbyterians came with the first set- 
tlers, and the Methodists were not far behind them. There 
were no church buildings in the county for some years. 
Services were held in private houses. In 1802 there was a 
camp-meeting on Shoulderbone creek, where there were on 
Sunday over five thousand people assembled.* 

As Hancock was on the frontier it was much exposed to 
Indian forays. It met them so bravely the county site was 
called Sparta. Sparta was soon a village of importance. 

* Dow's Journal. 

210 The Story of Georgia [Chap. V. 

It did a large trade for many years and became an educa- 
tional center. It had its regular chartered academy, and 
before there was a female college in Georgia Mrs. Warne 
had a female academy of high grade in Sparta. The. 
Methodist church in Sparta was erected in 1805. There 
had been services at the home of John Lucas for several 
years before that, and a conference was held in the village: 
in 1806, and seventy years afterward the Georgia Con- 
ference met near the spot where it had held its session, 
seventy years before. Sparta was for a long time a thrifty 
country town, but with the building of the railroads on- 
each side its commercial importance declined. The weal- 
thy planters in the county had their homes in the vil- 
lage, and, with the lawyers and doctors and country mer- 
chants, made a good society of cultured people. As in 
all these middle Georgia towns, the change of things after 
the war made a great change in the village. The railroad. 
was completed, the trade in fertilizers was immense and. 
Sparta began to advance, and it has become now a hand- 
some country town, with an elegant court-house, a fine; 
public school building and many charming homes. 

The religious history of Hancock is full of interest, but. 
we can only glance at it here. Governor Rabun was a Bap- 
tist deacon and lived at Powellton. Jesse Mercer had his " 
home in that village, and there the Georgia Baptist Con- 
vention was organized. The Presbyterians had a settle- 
ment at Mt. Zion and a congregation at Smyrna, and the 
Rev. Mr. Gildersleeve published at Mt. Zion the Missionary, 
which was the first periodical of that kind in the South. 

Many of the families we have found in Hancock went 
into Putnam, Baldwin, Jasper and Montgomery, across the 
Ocmulgee and the Flint into the western counties and to- 

Colonel Chappel, who was born in Hancock and lived in 
Putnam and Monroe, has given a picture of this county 


AND THE Georgia People. 211 

and its first settlers, which is not too highly colored to 
be true, and upon which I have freely drawn. No county 
ever was settled by a worthier people, and for enterprise 
and skill no county ever had planters who surpassed many 
of those in Hancock. They were men of great moral 
worth and simplicity of life, and are too many to be men- 
tioned. They formed communities where there was every- 
thing to elevate and refine. Bishop George F. Pierce, when 
a young man, fixed his home in Hancock and called it Sun- 
shine, and here, beloved and honored, he spent all the time 
he could spare from his exacting labors. 

Hancock is still a large county and has the villages of 
Devereux, Culverton and Jewells in its borders. 

Hancock has fine quarries of granite, which have been 
utilized only in late years, and no county in the State is so 
rich in " jaspers " of the most beautiful kinds. 

This county has been rendered famous by being the first 
county in which new modes of culture for corn and cot- 
ton were applied to the pine woods. 

Mr. David Dickson bought a large body that was called 
Pine-barren and began the liberal use of commercial fertil- 
izers upon it, and began to farm on a new and untried 
plan. He succeeded and his system of farming excited 
great attention, and his modes of cultivation were recog- 
nized as wise and were adopted in many sections of the 
country, and that portion of the county which had been 
regarded as the poorest became one of the best. 

The distinguished men of Hancock could hardly be 
numbered. The Abercrombies, so famous in the early his- 
tory of Georgia and Alabama, resided here. The Lewises 
came to this county in its first settlement, and have been 
distinguished men in a number of different walks of life. 
Governor Rabun was a resident of this county. Colonel 
James Thomas and Hon. Eli Baxter were prominent law- 
yers and politicians in Sparta. 

212 The Story of Georgia [Chap. v. 

Judge Linton Stephens, judge of the supreme court, col- 
onel in the Confederate army and member of the Confed- 
erate Congress, lived and died in Sparta. 

Dr. W. J. Sassnett, distinguished as a preacher and a 
philosopher, was born in this county and died in it. 

Dr. Lovick Pierce, so famous as a Methodist preacher 
throughout the South, died at his son's home in Sparta. 


Bulloch was laid out from Screven and Bryan in 1796, and 
named in honor of the excellent Archibald Bulloch, gov- 
ernor of Georgia. The Ogeechee river is on one side of it 
and the Canoochee on the other. There was some good 
oak and hickory land on the rivers, but much of the county 
was piny woods, presenting the usual features of such a 
section. It had been settled by stockmen, and White 
gives as the first settlers: 

Benjamin Cook, Barnard Michael, John Everett, Jehu 
Everett, Andrew E. Wells, George Threadcraft, Chas. Mc- 
Call, Alex Stewart, M. Buckhalter, A. McKenzie, Daniel 
Lot, Arthur Lot, Wm. Mizell, L. Lanier, C. Lanier, D. 
Hendrix, N. Sweat, Mr. Oliff, Mr. Shorter, the Groovers 
and Hodges. 

There is very little save in the matter of personal detail 
to distinguish one piny woods county from another. The 
physical features are the same, the pursuits of the people 
are the same, and their features of character are almost 
exactly alike. 

Bulloch was for many years a county where men owned 
large areas of land, which was valued at not more than 
twenty-five cents an acre. On this land the cabin was 
built, and in the wide wire-grass pastures the cattle fed. 
Every man was a landholder and every man was inde- 

There were so few people that schools and churches were 


AND THE Georgia People. 213 


rare, and the children had very limited opportunities for 
school training. 

The larger body of the peojjle of any religious faith were 
Baptists, and when the division of that denomination took 
place they were mostly found among the Primitives, but 
the Methodists had a footing in the county from it first 

Life in these pine woods in the early days when the people 
found it difficult to go to the markets was very simple. 
The farmer raised for family use upland rice, corn, pota- 
toes, cattle and hogs. He had his own syrup kettle and 
sugar-mill. His sheep furnished him with wool. His 
house was of logs, built by his own hands, and, while plain, 
was sufficientlv comfortable for his wishes. He raised 
some sea-island cotton and carried a few bales to Savannah, 
where, with the produce of his hides, tallow and beeswax, 
he secured enough money to buy some salt, calico, cotton 
and woolen cards and nails, and these were about the ex- 
tent of his purchases. 

There were in all this section, however, a few families of 
large wealth who had plantations on the richer -lands and 
lived in decided comfort, but for many years after the 
county was settled life was very primitive. With the build- 
ing of the railroads, the opening of the turpentine farms 
and the setting up of the sawmills, the same results fol- 
lowed of which we have spoken elsewhere, and now Bul- 
loch is one of the best of our inland counties. 


Mcintosh was cut off from Liberty, and in our account 
of the Scotch settlement about Darien we have given the 
early history of this county. Away from the coast the 
land presented identically the same features as Bulloch and 
the pine woods of Liberty. It was thinly settled by plain 
stock-raisers, who lived hard and had no social or educa- 

214 The Story of Georgia [Chap. V. 

tional adv^antages. These people were many of them the 
descendants of those Scotch people who first fixed their 
homes near Darien. 

Near the coast, however, there were a number of rice 
plantations, which were owned by planters who had large 
•estates and elegant homes. There was found here, as along 
all the coast where these planters had their homes, much 
intelligence, enterprise and hospitality, but nothing to dif- 
ferentiate them from those we have already pictured. 

Darien, however, being at the mouth of the Altamaha, 
was until the railways were built a most important shipping 
point. The cotton boats from the up-country brought 
great loads of cotton to this port for shipment to Europe 
and the North, and Darien was for years a great lumber 
market. The timber ranger of the up-country rafted his 
timber to this little city and found a market for it. 

It had a small but cultured and wealthy citizenship, 
and was pleasant and attractive, though somewhat isolated. 
Like St. Marys, it has had its mutations and has been 
largely discounted by the decay of its river trade, but it is 
still a vigorous little city. Outside of Darien Mcintosh 
has but a small body of white inhabitants. 


Bryan, which was named in honor of Joseph Bryan, was 
cut off from Effingham and Liberty. In the neck between 
the rivers there was fine rice land and a few planters had 
plantations in it, but the area of fertile land was very lim- 
ited, and the main body of the county was flat and sterile 
pine woods. 

In 1850 there were no schools in the county except a 
few supported by the poor school fund. In common with 
all that section of the State great changes were brought 
about by the war, and Bryan has shared in the prosperity 
tlie new era has brought in. 


AND THE Georgia People. 215 



The counties of Richmond and Columbia and Wilkes to- 
gether embraced all the land west of Augusta to the Ogee- 
chee. Much of the land in the northern and western part 
of this county was very fertile. It was thickly settled with 
people from Virginia, and it was decided in 1793 to lay off a 
county to embrace the western section of these counties and 
name it in honor of Dr. Warren, the hero of Bunker Hill. 

The county embraced in its limits all of what is now 
Warren, a part of what is now Jefferson, and a part of Talia- 
ferro and Glascock. 

There was much fine land in the upper . part of the 
■county along the Ogeechee, and there was a large colony 
of Virginians who moved in a body to this new country. 
Among them were some families of wealth and influence. 

The rich valley of the Ogeechee, which was afterward 
in Jefferson county, was now included in Warren. John 
Cobbs, the ancestor of General Howell and Thomas R. R. 
Cobb, who was a delegate to the convention of 1795 from 
Warren county, lived on a large estate on the Ogeechee, 
and his son, John Addison Cobb, was a captain of the 
militia in 1797 in this county. 

The first settlers in Warren, as given by White, were: 

Sol. Newsome, David Neal, Wm. Johnson, Job Hunter, 
CuUen Battle, Robt. Abercrombie, H. Peoples, Wm. Hill, 
A Denton, W. Carson, S. Burnley, B. Upton, S. Ferryman, 
E. Conner, A Brinkley, W. Jenkins, A. Jones, M. English, 
C. Lowe, Jr., D. A. Simeon, T. Maddux, E. Ivy, J. Burk- 
halter, E. Wilson, T. Persons, T. Lockett, S. Bell, J. 
Shivers, P. Newsome, John Newsome. 

Many of these were doubtless in Jefferson, Washington, 
Richmond and Columbia before Warren was laid out. 

In 1797 a roll of officers of the militia battalion shows 
the following: 

216 The Story of Georgia [Chap. v. 

John Lawson, major; David Neal, Addison Cobb, James 
Wilson, Chapman Abercrombie, captains; Wm. Landrum, 
Benj. Mitchell, Jno. Burnes, A. Jones, lieutenants; D. 
Hutchinson, C. M. Lawson, Moor Carter, ensigns. The 
second battalion had Major Slatter; captains : Bunkley, 
Jones, Smith, Hill, Flewellen; ensigns: Carter, Brantley, 
White, Clower, Cox; lieutenants: M. Womack, Mountain 
Hill, Burrell Pose}-, Gibson Flournoy. 

The above are nearly all Virginia names, and some of them 
are found in an after time in Jefferson, which included, when 
it was laid off, a small part of what had been Warren 

Before the beginning of the century an iron furnace, 
among the first established in Georgia, was set up in War- 
ren. It was known as Cowle's Iron Works. Some years 
afterwards Colonel Wm. Bird, a prominent and wealthy 
immigrant from Virginia, had another furnace on the shoals 
of the Ogeechee. 

Warrenton was the county site, and was laid off soon 
after the county was laid out. It became quite a center of 
trade, and at one time its wholesale trade was quite ex- 

The academy in Warrenton was incorporated in 1812, 
and Samuel Lowther, Peyton Baker, A. Moncrief, Edward 
Donahoo, Rufus Broom, Archelaus Flewellen, Turner 
Persons, George W. Hardwick and Dennis L. Ryan were 

The Methodists came to Warren before it was laid off as 
a separate county, and had preaching-places in all the 
thickly settled parts of the county. Some of the leading 
people in the county were Methodists; among them Judge 
Stith and his wife and the daughters of John Cobbs, who 
had married Robert Flournoy and Chesley Bostick. The 
Methodists had quite a following, and Bishop Asbury men- 
tions a great quarterly meeting at Heath's, where one love- 

1789-1800,] AND THE GEORGIA PeOPLE. 217 

feast lasted from nine o'clock in the morning to three in 
the afternoon. 

While there were thick settlements and considerable 
wealth in the oak-woods, there was a section afterward in- 
cluded in Glascock which was almost uninhabited for 
many years. 

There was much diversity in the character of the people, 
and side by side with the wealthy and with people of some 
education there was much illiteracy, and, as the court 
record shows, in the early years of the county a great 
amount of lawlessness. 

As a very considerable part of the county was not peo- 
pled by large slaveholders and was not the best suited for 
cotton-growing, there was less of the absorption of small 
farms than in some of the adjoining counties; but for years 
there was constant increase in the relative proportion of 
negroes to whites. In 1810 there were 5,677 free and 
3,048 slaves. In 1830, 6,523 free and 4,193 slaves, and in 
1850, 6,317 free and 6,108 slaves. The separation of the 
territory now into Glascock increased this proportion, since 
Glascock was largely peopled by whites. 


Jefferson county was organized in 1796 and named for 
Thomas Jefferson. There was no part of Georgia which 
had been peopled longer by white people, as we have seen, 
than a part of Jefferson. Here the Indian trader had his 
station before Oglethorpe came, and drew around him 
Scotch-Irishmen, and all along the banks of Briar creek. 
Rocky creek, Lambert's creek and the Ogeechee river 
many thrifty people had their homes before the Revolution. 

According to Mr. White the early settlers were: Wm. 
Hardwick, Jno. Fulton, the Clemmons, Pattersons, Roger 
and Hugh Lawson, Wm. Gamble, Captain Haden, Captain 
Connelly, Andrew Berryhill, the Shellmans, John Berrien, 

218 The Story of Georgia [Chap. v. 

the Hamptons, and the Whiteheads. Mr. White has nat- 
urally concluded because some of these came from the 
north of Ireland that all did. It is certain that William 
Hardwick and John Whitehead were Virginians in their 
ancestry, and I find a large number of persons receiving 
land grants before 1800 who evidently came from Virginia, 
but not a few from north Ireland. They were: 

Hugh Alexander, James Harvey, Z. Albritton, Charles 
Harvey, Thomas Atkinson, Garland Hardwick, Dave Alex- 
ander, Jos. Hampton, Henry G. Caldwell, Esq., D. Han- 
cock, Isaac Coleman, Wm. Hannah, Isaac DuBose, W, P. 
Hardwick, Marth Dorton, G. W. Hardwick, David Douglas, 
John Ingram, John Evers, George Ingram, John Evans, 
Wm. Kennedy, R. Fleming, John Land, R. Flournoy, Wm, 
Lowry, John Finley, Samuel Little, John Green, James 
Meriwether, R. Gray, John Martin, John Gamble, John 
Mock, Sherrod Hartley, B. McCutlers, John Maynard, Wm. 
Peel, Jesse Paulett, Love Sanford, Robert Prior, Henry 
Tucker, Jesse Purvis, Andrew Thompson, John Reese, Ben- 
jamin Warren, Jesse Slatter, John Warnocke, M. Shelnian. 

All these received grants of land in the county, and there 
were many whose names are to be found in the Appendix 
who received grants before the county was formed from 
St. George's parish or Burke county. 

Along the banks of the Ogeechee and on the numerous 
creeks in the county were large areas of the best oak and 
hickory land, and away from them were wide areas of pine 

Like all the first settlements in Georgia, the first indus- 
try of the people was stock-raising, and there was but little 
else raised for some years. Then some tobacco was planted 
for market, and there was a tobacco warehouse where the 
product might be inspected, located on the Ogeechee, in 
the early part of the century, but after cotton-gins were set 
up in the county every energy was turned in the direction 


AND THE Georgia People. 219 

of cotton-planting. Men made large fortunes raising cot- 
ton, and with the usual result — the small farms gave way 
to the large plantations. 

The best lands were very hilly and friable, and as in 
Wilkes and Greene, the hills soon washed badly and be- 
came very much impoverished. In the pine woods, as in 
Burke, the story was different. 

Queensboro* was established during the time of Galphin, 
and Louisville, which was named in honor of Louis 
XVL, was selected in accordance with the statute of 1786 
by Hugh Lawson, Wm. Few and N. Brownson, commis- 
sioners, and laid out in the first of 1796 near Queens- 
boro. An academy was one of the first buildings erected, 
and it was endowed by the State with ^1,000 of confiscated 
property and the proceeds of the sales of the town lots. 
The town commissioners of the new city were Rev. David 
Bothwell, John Shelman, James Meriwether and John Cobbs. 
Forty acres of land were laid out into lots and they were 
sold at auction. 

Perhaps the most stirring event in its early history was 
the burning of the Yazoo act spoken of elsewhere. 

The capitol was removed from Louisville after it had 
been there for only seven years, and the modest building 
which served for a State-house was sold to the county for 
county purposes, and many of the people of Louisville fol- 
lowed the capitol to Milledgeville. 

A State university had been projected, which was to be 
located in Louisville, but it was never established. The 
spot chosen by the commissioners at the capital city proved 
to be unhealthy. The hope that Louisville would be an 
important city was given up, and it declined, until in 1850 

* It has been claimed that this little hamlet was settled long before Ogle- 
thorpe came, and was named in honor of Queen Anne, but I can find no trace 
of it before 1760, and I am confident it was not settled until that time. Gal- 
phin's old town antedated it. 

220 The Story of Georgia [Chap. V. 

there were only two hundred and fifty people in the deserted 
village. The Central railway was ten miles off. The 
health of the village was not good. There was no trade, 
and there was but little hope of any change for the better. 

The population of the county in 1810 was 3,775 free and 
2,336 slaves; in 1830, 3,062 free and 3,647 slaves, and in 
1850, 3,717 free and 5,637 slaves. 

The owners of these large plantations in many cases lived 
in Augusta, Savannah and Macon, and only visited their 
estates occasionally. 

Churches were few and congregations small, but with 
changes which came with the war a new order of things 
came in. Sprightly towns sprang up on the railway, and 
a branch road was made from the Central railway to Louis- 
ville. The pine-barrens were filled with a thrifty and well- 
to-do people. Louisville began to improve and took its 
place with the progressive towns. Handsome churches 
were built, a graded school of high order was established, 
and now there are few villages anywhere more attractive 
than Louisville, and the county is more prosperous than it 
has been in fifty years. 

The boring of artesian wells in various parts of the 
county has provided a bountiful supply of the purest water^ 
and the health of the county is remarkably good. 

Few counties have sent forth a larger number of good 
citizens than this old county. Their descendants are found 
in all the lower and western counties of the State and in all 
the southwestern States. 

The Scotch-Irish Presbyterians had congregations in the 
county before the Revolution, but churches were not 
erected. The Rev. Mr. Ronaldson was the pastor, but he 
was a Royalist and was taken captive, and being released 
he left Georgia and never returned. After the war ended 
the Presbyterians sent to Ireland and secured a pastor, the 
Rev. David Bothwell, and the churches were revived. 


AND THE Georgia People. 221 

The Methodists came after the Revolution, as did the 
Baptists. The first church in Louisville was built by the 
father of Roger L. Gamble, and was on the lot where the 
public school now stands. It was afterward surrendered to 
the Methodists, but on their securing a lot of their own the 
old church, much dilapidated, was torn away. 

There are now excellent churches in every part of the 
county and good schools have been established. 

At the junction of the railway from Louisville a very 
sprightly town known as Wadley has sprung up. It has 
handsome churches, an elegant school building and school, 
neat residences, and good, solid store buildings, and does a 
large trade. Bartow, a considerable village, is only a few 
miles away. 

On the railway from Augusta to Tennille there are sev- 
eral villages of some size. 

Jefferson has been more famous for its large planters 
than for its public men, but it has produced not a few men 
of distinction. Hugh Lawson, whose father came into 
Georgia from North Carolina before the Revolution, was a 
captain in the Revolution, one of the commissioners for the 
sale of confiscated property and for selecting the place for 
a State-house, and one of the trustees of the university. 
He was brought up in this county. 

Judge Roger Lawson Gamble, who was a member of 
Congress, long lived in Louisville. 

Chesley Bostwick and Littleberry Bostwick, both officers 
in the Revolution, lived in this county. 

The Cobbs, Lamars, Rootes and Flournoys lived here, 
and at one time no county had so many distinguished 


Jackson was laid off from Franklin in 1796, and included 
in its bounds what is now Jackson, Clarke, part of Hall, 
and a part of Gwinnett county. 

222 The Story of Georgia [Chap. V- 

It had, as did most of the up-country counties, three 
varieties of land. The rich red land, on which grew a 
heavy growth of oak and hickory wood, was very broken, 
and when cleared was soon washed away. The fertile bot- 
toms along the creeks and rivers and the gray post-oak, 
lands were level and easily cultivated. The land in Jack- 
son, except a small part of it, was not regarded as good 
land for cotton culture, and was not in demand by slave- 
owners. It was settled with white people of moderate 

Jefferson, the county site, was a very obscure hamlet for 
many years, but has of late years, since it has been reached 
by the railroad, become a town of some importance. • The 
Martin Institute, founded and endowed by a Mr. Martin, is 
located here. 

Harmony Grove is a prosperous town in the eastern part 
of the county. In this little hamlet there was established 
the first chartered female academy in the State. At that 
time the Legislature gave a small amount to each chartered 
academy, but it had refused to charter any academy which 
excluded males. It, however, abandoned this position, and 
a female academy was chartered for Harmony Grove. 

The first settlers of Jackson, as given by White, were: 

Jacob Bankston, Richard Easley, John Smith, Jordan 
Clark, Abednego Moon, Thomas Hill, Paul Williams, Ed- 
ward Callahan, Parks Chandler, Andrew Miller, Bedford 
Brown, Z. Collins, S. Lively, Jonah Strong, Miles Gath- 
right, D. W. Easley. 

One of the most remarkable and distinguished citizens of 
Jackson was John Jacobus Flournoy, a deaf mute. He be- 
longed to a distinguished and wealthy family, was wealthy 
and intelligent, and often appeared in the press as a writer 
of force. It was through his agency that the deaf and 
dumb received State care. At first they were sent to Hart- 


AND THE Georgia People. 223 

ford, Conn., and then to an asylum built for their special 
instruction at Cave Spring. 

The celebrated John W. Glenn, a Methodist preacher of 
high character in early Georgia, long had his home here. 

Jackson has sent out a great many people to other sec- 
tions, and has been repeatedly cut down to make other 

In 1 8 10 the population of Jackson was 8,753 whites and 
1,816 slaves; in 1830 there were 6,221 whites and 2,783 
slaves; in 1850 there were 6,287 whites and 2,941 slaves; 
in 1890, 19,176 in all. 

The Northeastern railway, from Athens to Lula, passes 
directly through Jackson, and there is a railway from 
Gainesville and from Social Circle to Jefferson; the Sea- 
board Air Line railroad skirts the lower part of the county; 
so few counties have better railway facilities than this old 
county, which was for so many years without any. 

Where there was the little hamlet of Jug Tavern, there 
is now the charming little town of Winder, with its fine 
schools and attractive churches. 


There was a wide sweep of pine woods in the lower part 
of Washington, which, at the time the county was made, 
was almost entirely uninhabited. It was considered a bar- 
ren land, except along the river, which swept along its bor- 
der and through it. A few people, however, had settled in 
it as early as 1793, and it was decided to lay out a new 
county to be called Montgomery, in honor of the brave 
general of that name. 

It was almost an unbroken pine forest, but began to at- 
tract settlers because of its value as a pastoral county. In 
the pine woods of North Carolina there was a settlement of 
Scotch Highlanders, many of whom had been banished 
from Scotland because of their adherence to the House of 

224: The Story of Georgia [Chap. V. 

Stuart. During the Revolution these Scotch people were 
divided in sentiment, a large number holding with the 
crown, and an equal body holding with the patriots. After 
the war was over the colonists divided, and many came to 
Georgia and settled in Montgomery and what was after- 
ward Telfair and Tattnall. They were a race of brave and 
sturdy old covenanters. They were the McRaes, McDon- 
alds, McQueens, McDufifies, McCrimmons, McWillamses, 
and McCramers. 

These and many others built their cabins and opened 
their cattle ranches on the pine-clad hills. They were a 
thrifty people and were independent from the start. They 
had their kirk and their schools, and had services in their 
native Gaelic. They occupied the pine woods, and a few 
people of English descent opened large plantations on the 
rivers. Many of these were planters of large wealth. 

There was no part of Georgia where there were so many 
Highlanders, and there was nowhere a more contented and 
well-to-do people than those who dwelt in these pine for- 
ests. A finer type of the people than the Scotch who set- 
tled so largely Telfair, Tattnall and Montgomery counties 
was not to be found in America. They were honest, in- 
dustrious, religious and successful. 

These newcomers were in the main Presbyterians, and 
they brought their minister with them and had their 
kirk in this wilderness. Many of their descendants, how- 
ever, became Methodists and Baptists, and all these denomi- 
nations are represented in the county now. Nowhere were 
there better country churches or country schools, and the 
Methodists established a high school at Spring Hill which 
was finally merged into the South Georgia College at Mc- 
Rae. The anti-Missionary Baptists have had a strong fol- 
lowing in this county. 

The county is now being rapidly peopled, and the great 
ranches of the old Scotchmen, with their herds of cattle 




and flocks of sheep, are now being turned into turpentine 
farms and lumber-making villages. 

The county has become famous because of its connection 
with one of the most gigantic land frauds which was ever 
perpetrated in the United States and of which we have 
already spoken. 

In 1 8 10 there were in the county of Montgomery, which 
then included a half-dozen of the present counties, 2,207 
whites and 747 slaves; but in 1830, when the county had 
been cut down to its present dimensions, there were only 
924 whites and 335 negroes. In 1850 there were 1,541 
whites and 613 negroes, and in 1890 there were 9,248. Pop- 
ulation is now (1899) largely increased. 

The building of the railway from Americus to Savannah 
has opened up the country, the resources of which were 
unknown to the outside world, and the county has rapidly 


When Oglethorpe was cut off from Elbert on the north 
and Wilkes on the west, a narrow strip was taken from it 
on the east, and in honor of General Lincoln, of the Revo- 
lutionary army, the county was called Lincoln. It was not 
a large county, but was in the main a county of most ex- 
cellent land. The Broad river was on the north, the Sa- 
vannah river on the east, and the Little river on the south. 
Much of the land was rich red land, much of it fertile 
river and creek bottoms. It was very thickly peopled be- 
fore the Revolutionary war. Mr. White gives as the first 

John Lamar, Peter Lamar, John Dooly, Thomas Dooly, 
Thomas Murray, John Lockhart, B. Lockhart, Thomas 
Mitchell, Sterne Simmons, J. Stovall, Stephen Handspiker. 
M. Henly, Robert Flemming. 

Those who are familiar with the names of Scotch-Irish 


226 The Story of Georgia [Chap. V. 

people will see how many of these first families of Lincoln^ 
were of that stock, who came to Wilkes immediately from. 
North Carolina, but more remotely from Pennsylvania and 

There was a part of this county which was very sterile,, 
but the lands along the rivers and creeks were soon taken 
up by large plantations. 

Lincoln was admirably suited to tobacco culture, and the 
wealthy slaveholders from Virginia came into it at an 
early day, and in 1810 there were 2,443 whites and 2,212- 
negroes in the county. In 1830 there were 2,869 whites 
and 3,276 negroes; in 1850, 2,218 whites and 3,780 slaves.. 
In 1890 the population was only 6,146. 

Much of what is written of Wilkes refers to that part of 
Lincoln which was in Wilkes up to 1796, and many of the 
celebrated Kiokee settlers had their homes in Lincoln. 

The county was abandoned by many of its best people- 
as soon as the lands in the western counties were opened. 
The fields grew up in forests, and owing to the distance of 
the county from markets it has rallied slowly. 

Lincolnton was never a large town and is but little 
changed now from what it was sixty years ago. Goshen 
was once a place of some importance, but has long since 
ceased to exist. 

The county was the hotbed of Whiggism during the 
Revolution. Jno. Dooly, the father of Judge Dooly, was 
a WhisT colonel. He was the terror of the Tories and was 
cruelly murdered by them. His son, Judge Dooly, was 
famous as a brilliant lawyer and an honored judge, but, 
alas! as famous for the gross irregularities of his life. The 
worn-out stories of his coarse wit have been a staple with 
all writers on early Georgia. 

The nearness of the Kiokee church to Lincoln and the 
influence of Daniel Marshall in this county has made Lin- 
coln largely a Baptist county, and there are some ver^^ 


AND THE Georgia People. 227 

solid and prosperous churches of that denomination in it 
now. The Methodists, the only other denomination in the 
county, have a good following, and it is perhaps somewhat 
remarkable that the oldest Sunday-school which has had 
a continuous life in Georgia is in a country church in Lin- 
coln, where for over eighty years a Sunday-school has- 
been held every Sunday. 

Judge Longstreet located the scene of the celebrated^ 
occurrence when the man was seeing how he " could ai 
fout" in the Dark Corner of Lincoln; but I have been 
unable to find any part of Lincoln which would consent to 
acknowledge that it was the part alluded to. 

228 The Story of Georgia [Chap. VI. 


1800 TO 1812. 

The New Century and the New Era — Political Bitterness — Duel between Van 
Allen and Wm. H. Crawford — Duel between John Clark and Wm. H. Craw- 
ford — Jackson Elected Senator — Josiah Tattnall Governor — David Emanuel — 
John Milledge — Jared Irwin — David B. Mitchell — Sale of the Yazoo Lands to 
the United States — New Counties Opened — Baldwin, Wilkinson and Wayne 
Formed — New Settlements Made — The Cotton Gin — Rapid Growth of Cot- 
ton planting — Virginia Immigrants — North Carolina Immigration — Removal 
of the Capital — Flush Times in Georgia — The University Opened — Great 
Religious Revival — Christ Church, Savannah — The Independent Church, 
Savannah — The Roman Catholics — The Baptists — Dr. Holcombe — Judge 
Clay — Jesse Mercer — Mt. Enon Academy — The Methodists — Stith Mead 
— Camp-meetings — Lorenzo Dow — Jesse Lee — The Embargo — The Allevi- 
ating Acts — Establishment of the First State Bank — First Cotton and Wool 
Factory — First Stage Coach Line — River Communication. 

Authorities: Marbury & Crawford's Digest, Sherwood's Gazetteer, White's 
Statistics, White's Historical Collections, Clayton's Compilation of Georgia 
Laws, Old Pamphlets, Campbell's Baptists, Smith's History of Methodism 
in Georgia, Life of Jesse Mercer, Andrews's Reminiscences, Gilmer's 
Georgians, Bench and Bar of Georgia, Newspapers. 

David Emanuel, a Marylander who came to Georgia with 
John Twiggs, and was a brave soldier in the Revolutionary- 
war, was a member of the Senate from Burke and was 
president of that body, and became by virtue of his office 
governor in the interim before a new election took place. 
He was a man of fine character, who was fully trusted by 
his fellow citizens. 

Josiah Tattnall, Jr., was elected at the regular term as 
governor. He was the son of the sturdy Loyalist, Josiah 
Tattnall, Sr., who had stood so firmly for the king and who 
was now in exile. The old Royalist had sent his bright 
boy to the Bermudas that he might be kept from doing as 
the young Habershams and Milledge and James Jackson 

1800-1812.] AND THE GEORGIA PeOPLE. 220 

had done, taking up arms against his king; but young 
Josiah's heart was with the Whigs, and he made his way 
back to Georgia as soon as possible and entered the army 
just as the war closed. He came too late to do more than 
show his willingness to serve the State. He entered polit- 
ical life and was with Jackson and the Republicans. 

The times were times of intense bitterness and Federalist 
and Republican were at dagger's point. Personalities were 
common, and the duel was the frequent outcome of the 
political disputes. Van Allen, of New York, who had set- 
tled in Georgia as a lawyer, was killed in a duel with W. H. 
Crawford. John Clark had a duel with Crawford and shot 
him through the wrist. James Jackson had a duel with 
Colonel Watkins and was wounded in the arm, and Judge 
Tait challenged Judge Dooly and a duel was averted by 
Dooly's wit. Between the animosities resulting from the 
Yazoo affair and the political troubles, there was little 
peace in Georgia in the beginning of the century. 

The young governor entered upon his duties, but his 
health was so broken that he was compelled to resign. He 
went to the West Indies in a vain pursuit of health and 
died soon after his return to Georgia and not long after his 
retirement. He was succeeded by John Milledge, the 
second of the name. John Milledge's grandfather, Rich- 
ard Milledge, came with Oglethorpe to the colony, bring- 
ing his sons John and Richard with him. The father and 
mother died soon after they reached Savannah, and upon 
the son John, whom Mr. Oglethorpe called a worthy and 
industrious boy, fell the maintenance of the family. He 
was a fine young fellow and had the friendship of Ogle- 
thorpe, and during the Spanish war was appointed quar- 
termaster. He acquired a handsome property, and gave 
his son John the best advantages for education the colony 

When the Revolutionary troubles began the elder Mil- 

:2,SQ The Story of Georgia [Chap. VI. 

iedge seems to have been dead. He was a leading man 
in Savannah but seems to have had no part in the Revo- 
lutionary movement, but his son John was an ardent 
Whig and was connected with those who broke into 
the magazine. He joined the army, fought through the 
siege at Savannah, and then with James Jackson made 
his escape to South Carolina, where he went to Sumter's 
army, as we have seen, and narrowly escaped being hung 
for a spy. He was chosen as attorney-general while he was 
a refugee. When the war was over he married the daugh- 
ter of George Galphins, and having a considerable estate 
of his own, and marrying a woman of large property, he 
became one of the rich men of Georgia. He was very 
popular and was sent to Congress, first to the House, then 
to the Senate ; was elected governor to succeed Governor 
Irwin, and then to the Senate again. He retired to private 
life in 1807. 

Mr. Milledge bought with his own funds the seven hun- 
dred acres upon which the University and a part of the city 
of Athens is located, and gave it as a free gift to the trus- 
tees of the projected University as a site for the institution, 
and when the new county of Baldwin was laid out in 1803 
the county site was named Milledgeville in his honor. 

After his term closed Jared Irwin was chosen governor a 
second time. He was governor from 1807 to 1809, when 
he was succeeded by David B. Mitchefl. This gentleman 
was born and brought up in Scotland. He was the nephew 
of Dr. David Brydie, a physician in Savannah, who was a 
surgeon in the American army. When Savannah was cap- 
tured Dr. Brydie fell into the hands of the British and died 
on a prison ship, having made his nephew and namesake 
his heir. Young Mitchell came to Savannah, studied law, 
was admitted to practise, married a Savannah lady, and was 
rapidly promoted to a place in the councils of the State. 
lie was very popular and was three times elected governor. 


AND THE Georgia People. 231 

He removed from Savannah to an estate near Milledgeville, 
where he died at a comparatively early age.* 

The troubles between the United States and England 
•came to a crisis while Governor Mitchell was in his last 
year of office. In common with most of the Georgians he 
was an enthusiastic war man, and cooperated with the gen- 
eral government very heartily. During the financial de- 
pression which followed the embargo a bill for the relief of 
debtors had been passed and approved by Governor Mitch- 
-ell. Judge Early succeeded him, and while he was gov- 
ernor the Legislature extended the act and he vetoed it. 
It was passed over his veto, and when the governor offered 
for reelection he was opposed by ex-Governor Mitchell. 
Mr. Mitchell was elected governor the third time. 

The Legislature in the first years of the century made a 
sale of the Yazoo territory to the general government, and 
Governor Jackson, Mr. Milledge and Mr. Baldwin were the 
parties selected as commissioners by the State of Georgia. 
After a rather stormy time an agreement between the two 
sovereignties, as the treaty denominates them, was made 
and the sale was a fact accomplished. 

The United States government agreed to extinguish the 
Indian title to all lands east of the Chattahoochee, and to 
pay Georgia $1,500,000 and take the title, with all its 
shadows, and so Georgia was free from all further care of 
its western territory. 

The United States government went at once to work to 
negotiate with the'Creeks for the extension of the western 
line of Georgia. Treaties were made in 1802, 1804 and 
1805, by which all the lands east of the Ocmulgee river 
were ceded by the Indians to Georgia. This land was dis- 
tributed by lottery to the citizens of Georgia, and is now 
included in the counties of Morgan, Jasper, Putnam, Jones, 
Wilkinson, Twiggs, Pulaski, Telfair, Laurens, Wayne. 

* White. 

232 The Story of Georgia [Chap. VI. 

The first purchase was made in 1802 and divided into 
three counties — Baldwin, Wilkinson and Wayne. The first 
drawing was made in 1803, and the country was rapidly 
peopled by those who drew the lots, or by those to whom 
they were sold. The people from the eastern counties 
came in droves into this new country. The upper part of 
the country was a section of great beauty and attracted a 
great many settlers from the older counties, and many Vir- 
ginians now came into this new country. 

In the counties along the tide-water in Virginia, where 
there were many slaves, tobacco culture was now almost 
abandoned and all farming was unprofitable. The land 
was worn and poor and the negroes numerous, and the 
prospect of making fortunes in Georgia raising cotton was 
alluring, so a great many Virginians and North Carolinians 
had emigrated and settled plantations in Wilkes, Hancock 
and Greene twenty years before, and now on the opening 
of the new purchase they came in numbers to the new lands 
of Putnam, Jones, Morgan and Jasper, or Randolph, as it 
was then called. Many of these were men of property 
who had a number of slaves. 

To move from Virginia in the early days of the century 
was a difficult matter, and often the Virginian came out to 
Georgia and bought from a dealer in wild lands some fresh, 
rich land, and prepared for his removal. He brought with 
him at his first coming a few negroes, cleared some land, 
and built his houses. 

As was the case in first settlements everywhere at that 
time, these houses were single-roomed log houses, or at 
best a double log house, with puncheon floor, and stick- 
and-dirt chimneys. After his houses were built he returned 
to Virginia for his family. He had a sale and sold out and 
gave away the larger part of his belongings, and storing 
the rest in his large four-horse wagon he prepared for his 

3800-1812.] AND THE GEORGIA PEOPLE. 233 

The women and children of the family were provided with 
a Jersey or Dearborn wagon. The negroes were mainly on 
foot driving the cattle before them, and with some of his 
neighbors who were moving with him he began his journey 
from Hanover, New Kent, Brunswick, Dinwiddie or Albe- 
marle to "Georgay," as he generally pronounced the name 
of his new home. He and his sons rode on horseback, and 
a two-horse wagon was provided for the negro women and 
the children. 

The cavalcade dragged its slow length along until after 
fifty days of weary travel, camping out at night and cook- 
ing by the camp-fire, the families reached the new home. 
There were years of struggling before the comforts they 
left behind in the old commonwealth were once more pro- 
vided, but the lands were productive, negroes increased 
rapidly, cotton was high, property rapidly increased, and 
while the loyal Virginian did not forget his old State, and 
would never admit any land equal to it, he admitted that 
he found a Virginia almost as good in Georgia. 

There was no part of Georgia old, and to all parts immi- 
grants were coming. The poor man with no slaves sought 
the cheap hills of Jackson and Franklin, or if he was from 
the pine woods of North Carolina, from Robinson and 
Onslow and Cumberland, he came generally to the pine 
forests of lower Washington and Montgomery. 

The older counties of middle Georgia had been settled 
by the same class of people from North Carolina and Vir- 
ginia, who now came to the new counties, and they had 
now become quite populous, sending out a number of emi- 
grants, who left the old for the new counties. 

The towns in middle Georgia, Warrenton, Washington, 
Petersburg and Sparta, were towns of large trade, and the 
streets of Augusta were thronged with wagons from western 
South Carolina, western North Carolina and upper^Georgia. 
Merchants came to buy goods and farmers to sell produce 

234 The Story of Georgia [Chap. VI. 


and buy supplies. Savannah was a busy seaport and fleets 
of small vessels came in with loads of West Indies produce, 
and went out laden with rice, tobacco, cotton and lumber. 
The slave-ships owned in Boston and in England emptied 
their cargoes on the wharves of Savannah with fearful fre- 
quency. These new negroes, as they were called, were 
generally bought by the rice-planters on the coast, and but 
few found their way into 'the interior. This foreign slave- 
trade was to cease in 1808, and so crowds were hurried to 
the market before it became a piracy to bring them in. 

There was now a demand for the removal of the capital 
of Georgia further westward. Louisville was too near 
Augusta, and perhaps not a little unhealthy, lying between 
the Ogeechee river and Rocky Comfort creek. The capitol 
had not cost much, and was very unsatisfactory, and so in 
1804 it was decided to remove the seat of government 
from the banks of the Ogeechee to the banks of the Oconee, 
and to the spot selected as the county site of the new 
county of Baldwin, which, in recognition of the genuine 
benevolence of John Milledge, was called Milledgeville. 
A double log cabin, overlooking Fishing creek just below 
where is now the railroad bridge on the dummy line, was 
provided as a mansion for Governor Irwin, and as soon as 
it could be finished the plain two-story house still standing, 
and long occupied by Peter Fair, was made the governor's 
residence. Fifteen thousand dollars was put in the hands 
of the commissioners to provide public buildings. 

The incoming of so many people of means, the fertility 
of the newly-opened lands, the general healthfulness of the 
county, the high price of cotton, and the abundance of pro- 
visions made these early days of the century flush times. 
Fortunes were rapidly made, speculation ran wild, cities 
and villages sprang up like magic, but all at once the em- 
bargo came. Then there was stagnation, and reverses be- 

1800-1812.] AND THE GEORGIA PEOPLE. 235 

o^an. There was constant agitation and alarm, and then the 
war of 1812 followed. 

The University was located by the commission selected, 
as we have seen elsewhere, in Jackson county, on the land 
purchased by Mr. Milledge. The Legislature made a new 
county named Clarke, and granted an endowment in lands 
which were afterward sold for 5 100,000. 

Josiah Miegs was chosen as president, and the college 
had its first commencement, under an arbor, in 1804. In 
the chapter on education in Georgia I have given a fuller 
account of this important incident in Georgia history. It 
was designed to make the institution a university, but it 
was at this time in its feeblest infancy. 

It was during the period under survey that there was one 
of the most remarkable religious movements ever known 
in the history of Georgia. It is needless to deny the fact 
that the morals and religion of Georgia before this time 
were in a deplorable condition. Crawford, Clarke, Jackson, 
Tait, Gibbons and Mitchell were duelists, and had each 
been on the field, some of them more than once. Two of 
these had killed his antagonist. There was a great deal of 
deep drinking and gaming among the leading men. John 
Clarke, the favorite of the common people, was notorious 
for his excesses. W. H. Crawford was by no means tem- 
perate. John M. Dooly was a drunkard and a gambler, 
although he was a judge. Among the common people the 
standard of morals was very low. There was a fearful 
amount of profanity and drunkenness. At their assem- 
blages the people drank freely, and there was never a gath- 
ering without a fight in the ring. They raced horses, gam- 
bled with cards and dice, and were many of them rude and 

They had many virtues, for they were generous, hospita- 
ble, courageous, truthful. There was comparatively little 
impurity. The marriages were early, and the marriage 

236 The Story of Georgia [Chap. VL 

vows strictly regarded. There were many of the leading 
men, however, decided in their religious character, and 
while the lawmaker was somewhat loose in his morals, the 
laws on the statute book were almost severe in their de- 
mands for rectitude of conduct. 

The great revival of which I have spoken, which began 
in 1800, came and swept over the State. Of this I have 
given a fuller account in my chapter on "Religion in Geor- 
gia," to which the reader is referred. 

The flush times in the early years of the century were 
followed by years of financial distress. The wars in Europe 
had put an end to all foreign commerce. The people com- 
ing to Georgia, and the people already here, had been 
almost crazed by the wild spirit of speculation. Great 
debts had been made for negroes and land, cotton was be- 
coming the staple, and large plantations were opened. 
Then the demand ceased, and there was no sale for cotton, 
rice or tobacco. The United States bank and its branches 
were the only banks, and they called in their loans. Uni- 
versal bankruptcy hung over the State. The embargo was 
threatened, and in 1808 an alleviating act for the relief of 
debtors was passed. One-third of the debt was to be paid 
when due, and time was to be allowed for the payment of 
the rest of the debt. 

This provision for relief was renewed during the incum- 
bency of Governor Early, as we have seen, and the act was 
vetoed by him. The Legislature was very indignant, and 
the act was passed over the veto, and the people were so 
resentful that the governor was not reelected. 

It was during this period in 1809 that the first bank in 
Georgia was chartered. It was to be known as the Planters 
Bank, and was to be located in Savannah, with branches in 
all the principal towns. The list of commissioners and the 
places where subscriptions of stock were to be received 
give us an insight into the important places then in the 


AND THE Georgia People. 237 

State. They were Savannah, Augusta, Columbia Court- 
house, Washington, Warrenton, Louisville, Milledgeville, 
and Hartford (now Hawkinsville). 

The plan was a wide, sweeping one. The bank and its 
branches aimed to reach all sections of the State and em- 
brace a great number of stockholders. No one could hold 
over fifty shares of stock, and when three hundred thou- 
sand dollars in gold and silver was in hand the bank was to 
begin its work. The scheme was not successful and the 
bank did not open then, and a new charter was granted in 
1 8 1 o for one of the same name. At the same time that this 
new charter was granted the Bank of Augusta, with three 
hundred thousand dollars capital, was also chartered, and 
these banks went into operation. The United States Bank 
had several branches established in the State at this time. 

The first manufactory in Georgia was chartered in i8iO 
and was to be located in Wilkes county. It was to make 
woolen and cotton goods. The factory was located some 
twelve miles from Washington and went into operation, but 
was not successful. 

Stage lines were now chartered and established between 
Augusta and Savannah, and Augusta and Washington in 
Wilkes. They were to run stages at least once a week. 
There were of course no railways, nor for thirty years after 
this, and the first steamboat during this period made its 
trial trip from New York to Albany; there was as yet none 
in Georgia. 

The people went to market on horseback and sent their 
produce, when it was shipped by water, on flatboats. The 
rivers, and even the larger creeks, were utilized as far as 
possible, and efforts were made by public labor and by the 
organization of navigation companies to keep them open. 

These first years of the century were days of wild trad- 
ing. Soldiers' warrants, plots and grants of new lands, 
ancient headrights, confiscated property, all were in the 

238 The Story of Georgia [Chap. VI. 

market; and now the eagerness to make money rapidly led 
to the chartering of lotteries. They had been forbidden- 
by the colonial laws of thirty years before, but were now 
allowed and encouraged. Christ Church, in Savannah, was 
to be built by a lottery. The Midway graveyard in Liberty- 
rounty, near the Congregational church, was to be enclosed 
by the proceeds of a lottery. Schools in the counties of 
Washington and Columbia were to be helped by a lottery. 
The poor of Chatham, the court-house in Savannah and 
the university all had lotteries for their benefit.* 

Joseph Rice, of Savannah, had more jewelry and watches 
than he could easily sell, and he was permitted to get rid 
of his goods by a lottery, and was to pay for the privilege 
ten per cent, royalty to the State. Rivers were to be made 
navigable and the expense met by a lottery, and a lottery 
seems to have been the source of supply for all needs. 

Josiah Tattnall, Sr., had stood bravely by the king and. 
had been exiled and his property taken. After thirty years- 
his son Josiah was governor, and the Legislature did itself 
honor when it pardoned the old Loyalist ; and when Josiah 
Tattnall, Jr., affixed his signature of approval to an act 
pardoning Josiah Tattnall, Sr., he said, "With lively im- 
pressions of gratitude I affix my signature to this act." 

In those days couples were divorced, murderers were par- 
doned and natural children made legitimate by the Leg- 

Negro slaves were manumitted by authority of the- 
Legislature, and there were not a few who were made free 
persons of color by a special act. 

The salaries of the governor and of State-house officers 
were: $2,000 for the governor, $500 each for two secreta- 
ries, $200 for secretary of state, $200 for surveyor-general, 
$1,400 for judge of superior court, and $1,200 for treas- 
urer. The attorney-general and solicitors received $150- 

* See Clayton's Compilation. 

1800-1812.] AND THE GEORGIA PeOPLE. 239 

each, the comptroller $600, the clerk of the house $300. 
The poll-tax was 31^ cents per poll. 

A tobacco warehouse was established on the Tugalo, 
at the mouth of the Seneca, from which it is evident that 
tobacco was a staple in Franklin at that time. Lincoln, 
Elbert and Wilkes were the great tobacco-raising counties, 
and while the change from tobacco to cotton was going on, 
the Virginia weed still held the highest place, and hogs- 
heads were rolled to the warehouses, inspected and shipped 
thence to Liverpool and London, and goods were imported 
direct from England. • Thos, Grant and his father, Daniel, 
who were merchandizing in Wilkes, bought all their goods 
from England for several years after the century began. 

The cotton machines were now erected in all the coun- 
ties, and the culture of indigo and tobacco was giving way 
to cotton. The sea island planter still used the old roller- 
gin and raised his long-staple cotton, which he ginned with 
it ; but what was known as green seed, petit gulf cotton or 
short-staple was making its way into the up-country as far 
as the upper part of Elbert, where tobacco was still the 

The domestic slave-trade was never regarded with favor 
in Georgia, and severe laws were passed to restrict it, but 
the demand for labor to cultivate the cotton farms, and the 
depressed condition of things in eastern Virginia and Mary- 
land, led to its permanent establishment, and troops of ne- 
groes were brought from Virginia and Maryland to Geor- 
gia. There were now two decidedly different classes of 
negroes in Georgia, the pure African, or his immediate 
descendant, and the Anglo-African from Virginia, North 
Carolina and Maryland. The blood of the same race be- 
longed to both, but the Virginia negro was removed at least 
four generations from his African ancestor, and change of 
climate and of food had greatly improved him in physical 
and mental features. He was more docile, more intelli- 

240 The Story of Georgia [Chap. VI. 

gent, but perhaps less faithful and more artful than the re- 
cent comer. His lips were not so thick, his size was greater, 
and he was less of an animal in his looks and ways. The 
pure African on the coast was but little changed from the 
slave of negro-land or Guinea. He had better food and 
better government than he had in Africa, but at this time 
was, while less savage and more tractable, much like in 
other respects his ancestor across the seas. 

The white people of Georgia in the early part of the 
century presented different features, and these were found 
in different sections of the State. There were at this time 
only two cities of moderate size, and so the population was 
almost exclusively rural. 

As the reader has seen, much the larger part of the early 
comers had been Virginians and North Carolinians, and 
were a homogeneous body, but those who came from over 
the sea, and their descendants, were from different peoples 
and still preserved their original features. The English 
people who came from 1732 to 1750 belonged to the middle 
and lower classes of Englishmen. There were few of the 
gentry and still fewer of the peasantry among them. They 
were generally those sterling middle-class people who have 
done so much for England. Very few of them had become 
farmers; they had either become planters or found a place 
in the city. The Germans, both the Salzburghers and the 
later comers, had almost universally continued on the farm, 
and while they were now distributed largely over southern 
Georgia, they were still in all their features the same people 
who had settled at Ebenezer. 

The Scotch had among the immigrants to Georgia chiefs 
of clans and lairds, who were as proud of their Celtic blood 
and of their Tarleton as "The Mcintosh" had been in the 
Highlands; but the most of the Scotch people, although 
belonging to the famous clans, were poor peasants, living 

1800-1812.] AND THE GEORGIA PeOPLE. 241 

at first in a very narrow way, and in the beginning of the 
century were in the main stockmen. 

The near seventy years since the coast had been settled 
had done much to bring about great changes in social con- 
ditions there. The estates had become very large and the 
oneness of conditions had unified society, and whether the 
low-country rice or sea-island cotton-planters descended 
from the English, the Scotch or the Huguenots, they had 
much the same features and formed a society of their own. 
They were isolated, each man in his own barony, where he 
was a feudal lord who rarely left his own broad domain 
and livei among his slaves. 

These .vealthy, cultured and exclusive people were only 
a limited number of the white people on the coast. Away 
from the coast, toward the interior, there were many poor and 
ignorant people, as well as many thrifty, unpretending, self- 
supporting and independent farmers who lived on wide 
stretches of pine land. These people, called crackers by 
their wealthier neighbors, were descendants in many cases 
of the indentured servants who had been brought from the 
various countries across the sea; in others they were the de- 
scendants of the thriftless, perhaps profligate, members of 
good families, or adventurers from the Carolinas or Vir- 
ginia. They went where land was cheap and where the 
people lived plainly, and where they could procure a living 
with but little work. 

The overseers have been sometimes confounded with this 
class, and in Mr. Wirt's "Life of Patrick Henry" the Vir- 
ginia overseer is written down as a poor specimen of his 
race, but this was not the case on the coast. It required a 
man of real parts to manage a great rice plantation, and a 
good overseer was likely to become in time a wealthy 

At this time many of the descendants of the best people 


242 The Story of Georgia [Chap. \X 

who came in the early days of the colony were managing 
plantations for their more fortunate neighbors, who sprung- 
originally from the same class to which they belonged, but 
who had made or inherited fortunes. 

I have already given some insight into the life of the 
piny woods farmer of the better class in my sketch of Lib- 
erty county. There were in the first days of the century 
three distinct classes on the coast who were as distinct in 
Georgia as the gentry, the yeomanry and the peasantry in 
England. In the up-country above Burke county there 
was no such decided distinction in classes. Very many of 
the people of Wilkes and Greene and Hancock, occupying^ 
the same social position, sprang from entirely different 
stems. Men who had names in the English peerage, or 
those whose ancestors were Welsh squires and Scotch 
lairds, were side by side with descendants of Scotch-Irish 
yeomen, whose almost penniless fathers came from the 
humblest homes in Ireland to Pennsylvania, and thence 
down to North Carolina, and had made fortunes by their 
energy and thrift. 

These were side by side with the descendants of the Re- 
demptioners who began their American life in the tobaccO' 
plantations of Virginia. There were a great many Georgians 
who belonged by family connection to the old English aris- 
tocracy. Their ancestors had come to Virginia before the 
seventeenth century. They came to Georgia poor men, 
and became leading people; and they were not distin- 
guished from the English yeomanry who had also lived in 
Virginia, and had now removed to Georgia. There was in 
Virginia and lower South Carolina a very high estimate put 
upon family distinctions, and the same feeling was found 
in lower Georgia — especially in Savannah and on the coast; 
but in upper Georgia there was a strong feeling against this 
spirit. Family pride was ridiculed and denounced. Popular- 
politicians claimed kinship with the common people.. 


AND THE Georgia People. 243 

Milledge, Clarke, Irwin, Jackson, the favorites in political 
circles, were men who made no claim to ancient or aristo- 
cratic lineage, and were loud in their denunciations of such 
claims. This want of family pride had its origin largely in 
the principles of the new movement in France and the hos- 
tility to the English, which was at its height at this time. 

In all the up-country these old family distinctions were 
lost sight of — at least by the men; and while in the up- 
country, as in the low-country, there was the "cracker" of 
the humblest type, as a general thing, where land was so 
easily secured, the poor man became a landholder, and the 
thriftless and indolent moved with the ever-advancing line 
westward. At the time of which we write Georgia society 
had taken its permanent shape; and there was but little 
change in it for some time, until the coming in of trading 
Jews and the Irish and the springing up of populations in 
the manufacturinsf villag'es. 

While it is true the constant advance of the settlements 
into the Indian country brought about a great diversity of 
social conditions long after this period, and there was 
much simplicity in life and many hardships, there was in 
the old counties a great increase in comfort. Burke, Jeffer- 
son, Wilkes, and Elbert were now from thirty to forty years 
old, and convenient to markets, and the comforts of a set- 
tled state of things were enjoyed by the people, while the 
counties west of the Oconee were just being settled and 
were having to encounter the usual dif^culties of the fron- 
tier. From the elegant homes of the people on the coast, 
and in the cities, there was a constant grade to the one- 
roomed log cabin of the new settler in Morgan or Wilkin- 
son. There were, indeed, almost all kinds of social life in 
Georgia at this time; but the different kinds became more 
plainly brought out before the end of the next decade. 

There can be no denial of the fact that for the first 
twenty years of the century there was the same indorse- 

244 The Story of Georgia [Chap. VI. 

ment of dueling that was found in the more Northern 
States and in England, and no man dared in those days to 
refuse a challenge; but in 1805 the Georgia Legislature 
went so far as to forbid the duelist from ever holdinsr 
public office. Although there was a law against it, it must 
be admitted that public sentiment in some cases still upheld 
that cowardly and disgraceful method of settling personal 
quarrels; but the disapproval set upon it by the Legislature 
has become more and more a sentiment, until at the present 
time the duelist is regarded with decided disfavor. 

The county towns of Eatonton, Hartford, Warrenton, 
Lexington, Athens, Madison, Milledgeville and Elberton 
were all incorporated, and academies were established in 
each of them. 

There was a literary and Thespian society organized in 
Augusta with the following members: Robert McRae, 
Richard Wilde, Dan MacMurphey, Samuel Hale, Abraham 
A. A. Leggett, Henry L. McRae, John W. Shinholser, 
Zach Rossell, James Wilde, Daniel Savage, Willoughby 
Barton, Albert Brux, Thos. J. Wray, John R. Barnes. This 
society was organized in 1808. Among the names of the 
incorporators is one who won a world-wide distinction as a 
man of letters. This was Richard Henry Wilde. His little 
poem, " My Life is Like the Summer Rose," has taken its 
place beside the choicest gems of lyric poetry, while his 
discovery of the lost portraits of Tasso and his life of the 
Italian poet have given him a lasting fame among men of 
letters. He was of Irish lineage. His father was an Irish 
merchant who by the perfidy of an American partner was 
robbed of all he had. His mother a woman of sterling 
worth, who, when her husband sank under his losses, opened 
a millinery shop in the young city of Augusta and sup- 
ported her family. Richard Henry was her oldest son. 
He labored hard in the counting-room to aid his mother in 
her efforts to support the younger children, studied law, 

1800-1812.] AND THE Georgia People. 245 

was elected to Congress when only twenty-seven years old, 
and held his place there until 1835. He then retired from 
public life, and spent some time in Europe in literary labors, 
and on returning to America entered again on the practice 
of his profession in New Orleans, where he died. He was a 
man of rare gifts and of very finished culture. There was 
a literary society of some note in Petersbfirg, of which 
Governor Bibb, afterward of Alabama, and the '^father of 
Junius Hillyer and Dr. S. G. Hillyer were members. 

These middle Georgia towns which had now sprung up 
were all laid out on the same plan — a plan like that of the 
old Virginia county sites. A square was chosen. In the 
center was the court-house, generally a plain square box- 
house, with a court-room up-stairs and offices down-stairs. 
On one corner was the village tavern, and around the square 
the village stores. These country stores aimed to furnish 
everything the people needed. They sold dry-goods, gro- 
ceries, hardware, drugs, saddlery, and in all of them 
there were bars from which whisky was retailed. The 
county towns were generally small. The county doctor, a 
few lawyers, the teacher and the court officers generally 
made up the families in them. The farmers lived on the 
farms, and the planters at this period were few, and those 
few lived on their plantations. The country people came 
• in great numbers to the county towns on court days and 
the days of the general muster. 

There was a superior court twice in the year, and an in- 
ferior court which met every month. On court days there 
was a large attendance of the people, especially when the 
superior court was in session. At that time the whole 
county was represented, and those who had business in 
town, as well as those who had business in court, went to 
town then, and the crowd was increased by those who had 
no business at all. The most of the people came on horse- 
back. The lawyers from all the country round came in 

246 The Story of Georgia [Chap. VI. 

gigs and sulkies. If it was a time of political excitement, 
a political speech was sandwiched between the morning and 
afternoon sessions of the court. The ginger-cake wagon 
with its keg of persimmon beer was always on hand, and 
the motherly dame who sold a cake for a thrip and threw 
in the beer was always present. On Tuesday of the first 
week of the court was horse-swapping day. Whisky flowed 
freely, and nearly everybody took a dram. Fisticuffs were 
the result, and they were common. The village was crowded 
with people for a week, court then adjourned, and all be- 
came quiet again. 

The militia laws were very carefully drawn and the theory 
of a citizens' army very beautiful. All able-bodied men 
between eighteen and forty-five were to be enrolled. They 
were to be placed in districts, battalions, brigades and 
divisions. They were to be officered by major-generals, 
brigadier-generals, colonels, majors and captains. Four 
times a year the captain drilled his company, twice a year 
there was a battalion drill, and once a year a general mus- 
ter. The offices held by the staff were very honorable dis- 
tinctions. The major-general was elected by the Legis- 
lature, and the position was highly valued. 

For years after the Revolution there was an earnest and 
persistent effort made to carry out the scheme of training 
the militia, but at last it was abandoned because of its 
thorough inefficiency. 

In the first days of the century the militia muster was a 
very imposing affair. The people came from all the dis- 
tricts in the county. The major-general, attended by his 
staff, with glittering epaulets and flowery plumes, mounted 
a magnificent charger. He wore his brilliant uniform and 
cocked hat, and his staff was elegantly equipped. He was 
the center of attraction. The brigadiers and colonels and 
majors were in full force, all uniformed and mounted. The 
captains, however, were as a general thing in citizen's 

J800-1812.] AND THE GEORGIA PeOPLE. 247 

•clothes, with perhaps a feather in their hats. The rank and 
file were armed with old Kentucky rifles, single-barreled 
shotguns, sticks and cornstalks. A pretense of drilling 
and reviewing was made, and after a day of absurdity the 
mustering militia was discharged until another twelve- 
month had gone. 

There were a few volunteer companies which kept up an 
organization, the Chatham artillery, the Liberty troop, and 
perhaps a company in Augusta. 

After the muster was over there was generally a time of 
wild revelry; corn whisky and peach brandy flowed freely, 
and "Ransy Snififle" managed to bring "Bill Stallings and 
Bob Durham" together in the ring. As a general thing 
there was no more serious casualty resulting from these 
combats than a bitten ear or a gouged eye. Stabbing was 
not common, and shooting was almost unknown. No man 
carried a pistol in those days, and the old-time dirk was re- 
garded as a cowardly weapon. 

The sturdy old farmers looked on these muster days 
with great abhorrence, and looked upon town-people gen- 
erally as objects of pity. Even the preachers had little 
hope for the towns. 

There was no church in Waynesboro, Washington, War- 
renton, Sandersville or Eatonton for years, and then the 
services held were by no means frequent. 

There were made during this time quite a number of new 
counties — Tattnall, Clarke, Baldwin, Wilkinson, Wayne, 
Putnam, Morgan, Jones, Randolph (or Jasper), Pulaski, 
Laurens, and Twiggs. 

These counties, which will be glanced at separately, di- 
vide themselves into groups, where each county has much 
the same features. 

Clarke, Baldwin, Putnam, Morgan, Jones, Jasper, or, as it 
was then called, Randolph, form one group known as middle 
Georgia, or oak and hickory counties. 

248 The Story of Georgia [Chap. vi. 

Wilkinson, Twiggs, Pulaski and Laurens form a second 
group partly oak and hickory lands, partly pine lands, and 
Wayne, Telfair and Tattnall exclusively pine woods. 

The middle Georgia counties were rapidly peopled, and 
those who study the names of the first settlers will recog- 
nize many of them as Georgians from the eastern counties, 
though some were Virginians and North Carolinians. The 
lands were distributed by lottery, and many who drew lots 
of two hundred and two and one-half acres removed at once 
to them and began to open farms. The first comers, as in 
the older counties, were generally poor; they had no ne- 
groes, or a very few, and in all new Georgia the wealth of 
the country for the first twenty years was largely in horses, 
cattle and hogs. While there were the discomforts re- 
sulting from settlement in a nev/ country, these settlers 
had few severe hardships. 

There was for the first twenty years little mental cultiva- 
tion; very few people had any books. Many of the wills 
during this period were signed with a mark, and few women 
could write their names. 

In many respects the section which was first called Bald- 
win presented the same features; and the study of the indi- 
vidual counties will bring out the differences between them. 
They were all rapidly settled, and by a good class of set- 
tlers. It will perhaps be a matter of some surprise that the 
people of these new counties were less cultivated than 
those of Wilkes, Hancock or Greene, from which so many 
of them came; but the surprise will cease when it is remem- 
bered that these people came to manhood during the Rev- 
olution and the Oconee War, and men of excellent families 
and of good means had no opportunities for an education, 
and could barely read and hardly write their names. The 
features of social life were the same as has been pictured in 
the early days of Wilkes and Greene. The second group 
of counties, Wilkinson, Laurens and Pulaski, were partly 

1800-1812.] AND THE GEORGIA PeOPLE. 249 

oak and hickory, but mainly piny woods counties, and 
were peopled by different classes of people, according to 
the character of the land. 

To these mixed counties two very different classes of 
people came. To the land on creeks and rivers men of 
large means came to open plantations. They bought a large 
area of the best cotton land and settled a score or more of 
negroes to cultivate it. They then bought a great body of 
pine land near by, so that their holdings were very exten- 
sive. Men like General Blackshear and Governor Troup 
had establishments like that of an English baron, while the 
men who lived in the pine woods were such as are por- 
trayed elsewhere. 

These two classes of people had little to do with each 
other. They were on the same juries, and sometimes 
judges of the same court, but there was no social inter- 
mingling. It was the same condition of things that ob- 
tained on the coast thirty years before. 

In the rich lands of Twiggs, Pulaski, Laurens and Wil- 
kinson there were the same general features that were to 
be found in the older counties. This was the case in the 
years following this period ; but before i8i2 in these 
counties the forest in many places was unbroken. The 
cabins were few and far between, and the settler, who thirty 
years after had an elegant dwelling filled with guests, was 
now living in a log cabin and carefully seeing after his 
cows on the ranch and preparing his low grounds to make 
corn. There was little cotton made by rich or poor; there 
were few comforts, and there was no luxury. 

We shall perhaps get a better idea of the development of 
Georgia by studying the features belonging to the counties 
as they come before us one by one. 


Though Clarke was made a county in i8oi, it was not 
then first settled. It was a part of Franklin, then of Jack- 

250 The Story of Georgia [Chap. VI. 

son, and when the University was established at Athens 
was made a separate county and called Clarke in honor of 
Elijah Clarke, of whose distinguished services during the 
Revolution we have spoken. The county site was Watkins- 
ville, named in honor of Robert Watkins. The orisfinal 
county of Clarke was a large one, and in 1875, when Athens 
was a considerable town, it was divided into two counties, 
one of which was called Oconee, the other Clarke. Wat- 
kinsville was left as the county site of Oconee, and Athens 
was made the county site of Clarke. 

There was a great deal of first-class land in the undi- 
vided county, and a limited quantity in what is now 

Although Clarke could not present the inducements to 
settlers which Greene and Hancock did, there came to it 
some of the same class of people at its first settlement; and 
the position of Athens as an educational center drew to it 
at a later day a class of most excellent people, who settled 
in the village and in the country adjoining. Mr. White 
gives as the first settlers, Thomas Greer, James Greer, Sol. 
Craig, Charles Dean, F. Roberson, Wm. Clarke, Wm. 
Williams, Wm. Jones, Francis Oliver, Thomas Wade, 
Daniel Elder, Zadock Cook, John Jackson, Hugh Niesler, 
Thomas Mitchell, James Cook, Wyatt Lee, Robert Barber, 
Hope Hull, A. Briggs, Jesse White, David Meriwether, 
Joseph Espey, John Espey. 

As we have seen, Athens was laid out on seven hundred 
acres of land purchased by John Milledge, and was made 
the seat of the University. It was very healthy, and soon 
drew to it an excellent class of citizens. It had a good 
country tributary to it, and soon became a place of com- 
mercial importance. The facilities for manufacturing pro- 
vided by the fine water-powers on the Oconee river, on 
which the city of Athens is located, were recognized, and 
at an early date its citizens began to manufacture; and 

1800-1812.] AND THE Georgia People. 251 

some of the most successful cotton mills and other factories 
in Georgia have been established near Athens. The Georgia 
railroad early built a branch road to the city, and when 
the Air Line railway, from Charlotte to Atlanta, was built, 
the people of Athens built a line of forty miles to tap it at 
Lula, and when the S. A. L. line reached Georgia it came 
directly through Athens, and then the Central bought a 
line from Macon to the city, and thus gave it the best rail- 
way privileges, and it has become quite a trade center. 

Athens has not only been noted for its culture and 
refinement, but for the piety of its leading people. Al- 
though as late as 1825 there was no church in the villao-e, 
there was regular religious service in the college chapel. 
In 1825, or near that time, the Presbyterians built a church 
on the campus. The Baptists built also on the campus, 
and the Methodists where the First Methodist now stands. 
The Episcopalians were somewhat later. There have been 
great revivals of religion in Athens, in which some of the 
most distinguished men in Georgia have begun a religious 
life. The country around is well supplied with churches, 
mainly Methodist and Baptist. 

Clarke was formed in iSoi, and by 1810 it had 5,034 
free and 2,594 slave inhabitants, and in 1830 there were 
5,07 free and 4,709 slaves; in 1850 there were 5,330 free 
and 5,589 slaves. In 1890 the entire population was 
15,186. It has now, in 1899, a very much larger popu- 

The city of Athens is one of the most attractive and ele- 
gant cities in the State. It has a fine electric plant, a 
street railway, well-paved streets, handsome public build- 
ings, water-works, and all the equipment of a working city. 
Of the University, with which the history of Athens is so 
connected, we have spoken elsewhere. 

While Athens had always had excellent female schools, 
and the second distinctively female school in the State was 

252 The Story of Georgia [Chap. vi. 

in Athens, it had no female collegiate institute until Thos. 
R. R. Cobb, as a memorial to a child to whom he was de- 
voted, gave a large donation for a female institute of high 
grade, which was called the Lucy Cobb Institute in honor 
of his daughter, and which has held high rank with the 
best schools for young ladies. The State Normal School 
is also located here. 

In Athens was established the celebrated Southern Mu- 
tual Insurance Company, which has been the most success- 
ful purely Mutual Fire Insurance Company in the Southern 
States, and perhaps in America. 

The location of the University in Athens has made it 
famous for its public men. Among the most valuable of 
the early settlers in the county was Hope Hull, whom we 
have seen as a young Methodist preacher in Wilkes county 
in 1788. He had a home near Washington, and established 
ten years before Athens was founded or the University 
began its work a classical school and employed teachers 
to teach it. He was among the heartiest supporters of the 
proposed college in Athens and was a member of its first 
board of trustees, and as long as he lived he never lost his 
interest in it. His two sons, Asbury Hull and Dr. Henry 
Hull, were like himself men of great worth and public 

Asbury Hull was for several years speaker of the House 
of Representatives in the Georgia Legislature, a leading 
banker and capitalist in Athens. Dr. Henry Hull, his ex- 
cellent brother, once a professor in the State University, 
spent his long life in Athens. 

John A. Cobb settled in a part of Athens which he called 
Cobham, and here he lived and educated his two sons 
Howell and Thomas R. R. Cobb, whose fame as soldiers 
and statesmen is so widely extended. 

The celebrated Moses Waddell spent his last days here 
as president of the State University. 

1800-1812.] AND THE GEORGIA TeOPLE. 253 

Dr. A. A. Lipscomb, the [)hilosopher and sage, lived 
here in a charming cottage after he had retired from the 
presidency of the University, 

Young L. G. Harris, famous as a financier and as a phi- 
lanthropist, lived and died here. 

Ferdinand Phinizy, one of the most distinguished cap- 
italists in Georgia, had his home here. 

It was in Athens that Dr. Crawford Long used ether as 
an anesthetic before it had ever been so used by any other 

Here Dr. Patrick H. Mell, one of the best of teachers 
and the purest of men, spent his last years as president of 
the University. 

The celebrated Stephen Olin, the peerless preacher, 
spent several years here as professor of English literature. 

Here Dr. Nathan Hoyt, the famous Presbyterian preacher, 
and Dr. Chas. Lane, who came after him, ended their 
useful lives, and here Dr. Eustace W. Speer, after having 
been several times pastor of the church and at one time 
professor in the University, fixed his home and ended his 
days; and in this town Henry W. Grady was born, edu- 
cated and married. 

To catalogue the men of distinction who have been con- 
nected with Athens would take far more space than I can 
possibly devote to this famous city. 

Clarke was, like all the hill counties, settled by people 
of moderate means, who raised chiefly corn and other food 
products. It had in it many stills and made much brandy 
and whisky, which it sent to the Augusta market, and the 
records of the county show that the inhabitants were by no 
means total abstainers; but there is one record on the 
county books different from any other in Georgia: A man, 
anticipating that he would be assassinated, made a will, in 
which he recited his apprehension, and made a bequest to 
pay the cost of prosecuting the murderer, and suggesting 

254 The Story of Georgia [Chap, vl 

who he would be and how he might be convicted. He was 
killed. The murderer was arrested and was convicted and 

The grand jury in 1806 says: "The college is now opened^ 
and is ready to teach boys from their A, B, C's, up." 


Madison was laid out from Oglethorpe, Clarke, Franklin 
and Elbert in 181 1. It is not a large or fertile county, and 
in very few respects differs from the counties from which, 
it was taken. 

There are two forks of the Broad river in the county, 
and in the fork near to Elbert, in what was then Wilkes 
county, at the home of James Marks, the first Methodist 
Conference in Georgia was probably held. 

The first settlers as given by White were, Samuel Long» 
Jacob Eberhart, Samuel Wood, Stephen Groves and Gen- 
eral Daniel. 

The county site, Danielsville, is a very small village in sl 
hill country. There was for many years no railroad in the 
county, but the building of the Seaboard Air Line railroad 
has brought the best part of the county on Broad river into 
connection with the outer world. 

The people of Madison have been a very plain, sober, 
religious and well-to-do people, and while much of the 
county is badly worn and washed, there is some good land 
and many very worthy people in the county. 


In 1803 Baldwin was laid out from the new territory. It 
was a very large county when first made, but has been sO' 
cut down by forming new counties that it is now quite 
small. The upper part of the present county, bordering on 
Putnam and Jones, was the highly-valued oak and hickory 
land, as was that part of the county of Hancock beyond 

1800-1812.] AND THE GEORGIA PeOPLE. 255 

the Oconee, which was put into Baldwin when it was formed. 
It was at once settled by substantial planters, most of them 
from the older counties of Georgia. 

The lower part of the county, away from the river and 
the creeks, was in the pine belt, and was considered very 
undesirable, and was for a long time very thinly settled. 
Much of it was exceedingly sterile. The lands on the Oconee 
and the upper part of the county were very fine, and the 
population was very large in those sections. 

In i8 10 the population was 3,809 whites and 2,250 slaves; 
in 1830 there were only 2,753 whites and 4,542 slaves; in 
1850 there were 3,546 whites and 4,602 slaves. 

Few parts of the State were settled more rapidly and with 
a better class of people, and none of the middle Georgia 
counties were more rapidly worn out and sooner abandoned 
by the large planters. The lands were very rolling and very 
friable, and under the system of culture then adopted the 
surface soil was soon washed away. 

The first settlers in the oak and hickory lands of Baldwin 
were many of them people of some means from the older 
counties. Many of them had their plantations in the county 
and fixed their homes in Milledgeville. The rapidity with 
which the county was settled is seen in the first census in 
1810, from which it appears that there were three hundred 
more white people in the county in 18 10 than in 1850. 

The first settlers were the Howards, Devereaux, Lamars^ 
Bosticks, Sanfords, Joneses, Pierces, Scotts, Hammonds, 
Kenans, Battles, Holts, Claytons, Byrds, Malones, Napiers 
and Flukers. 

Three thousand two hundred and forty acres were appro- 
priated to the city. John Rutherford, Littleberry Bostick, 
A. M. Devereaux, Geo. M. Troup, John Harbert and 
Oliver Porter were the commissioners. Fishinof creek, 
then a bold and limpid stream, made its way to the river 
along its eastern border. The forests on the hills and alons: 


256 The Story of Georgia [Chap. vi. 

the river were magnificent. Gushing springs and crystal 
brooks were found in different parts of the tract. The city 
was carefully laid out and a great square was designated 
for the capitol. A handsome hilltop was reserved for the 
governor's mansion, a tract was reserved for a State prison, 
and the lots were put on the market. After all this was 
done the county was organized. 

The part of Baldwin which lies beyond the Oconee river 
was in Hancock, and was thickly settled before Baldwin 
was laid out. Before Milledgeville was located a town 
called Montpelier was projected on quite a considerable 
scale; lots were sold, and a few people settled in it. It 
was located about where the Montpelier Methodist church 
is now. Another small town named Salem, nearer the river, 
was also on the east side of the river. 

At this time the Oconee was navigated by flatboats, and 
most of the produce of this part of the county was boated 
down to Darien, and goods were brought up the river by 
the same process. 

While the pine lands were considered worthless for farm- 
ing purposes, they were recognized as very healthy, and as 
Milledgeville at its first settlement was quite sickly, a re- 
sort called Scottsboro, on the edge of the oak and hickory 
woods among the pines, was chosen as a sanatorium, and 
the people of Milledgeville had their summer homes there, 
and some of them had permanent residences on these sand 
hills. There were for many years but few inhabitants of 
the pine woods, and most of these were very poor and 

The land in this section was heavily timbered, but was 
very sterile. When the Central railway built a branch road 
to Milledgeville sawmills were built along the line to cut 
the pine timber. Thos. Stephens, a sturdy Englishman, 
planted a large mill ten miles from Milledgeville, and after 
he had exhausted the timber resources he began another 






180O-1812.] AND THE GEORGIA PeOPLE. 257 

industry which has done much for that part of the county. 
He found an inexhaustible supply of most excellent clav 
suitable for making fire-brick and sewer-pipe and other 
kinds of terra-cotta products, and he and his sons have 
built up one of the largest manufactories of these products 
in the South. 

These pine lands have been improved by modern culture, 
but their chief wealth is in the strata of clay beneath the 
surface. The history of the cotton belt, as told before, is 
the story of Baldwin. The stock-raiser, the small farmer, 
the large planter, the worn-out fields, and the emigration 
westward, until in 1850 the white population had been re- 
duced from what it was forty years before, and the negroes 
were twice as many as they were then. 

The Legislature, when it decided on making the new city 
of Milledgeville, as we have seen, laid out three thousand 
two hundred and forty acres in city lots, and a modest State- 
house costing, when completed, sixty thousand dollars was 
built. It was added to at different times until it received 
its finishing touch in 1837, ^^^^1 presented the gippearance 
which it presents as the Middle Georgia College. The man- 
sion was built during the incumbency of Governor Clarke, 
and is a very handsome building on a high hill, now occu- 
pied by the president of the Industrial College. 

The penitentiary was established in 1803, and after the 
removal of the capital to Atlanta was demolished, and the 
site is now occupied by the Normal College. 

Milledgeville, as the capital city, was, in days gone by, 
the scene of much gayety and much dissipation, and has 
witnessed not a few tragedies. There have been several fatal 
duels arranged for and many bloody street brawls. The 
fortunes of the little city have been varied, and the num- 
ber of its population fluctuating. 


258 The Story of Georgia [Chap, vi^ 

With the impoverishment of the land near the city, the 
planters moved to the newer counties, and few of their de- 
scendants remained in the county. The capital of the 
State was for many years a slow-moving and by no means 
prosperous town. The court-house of the county was 
burned and many of the early records were lost. The rec- 
ords of the court of ordinary were preserved, however, and 
an insight into the almost forgotten history of the early 
settlers is to be found in them. A very handsome court- 
house has been erected on the old lot. 

The first Methodist church was built in 1807; the first 
Methodist Sunday-school was established in Milledgeville 
in 181 1, when S. M. Meek was preacher in charge. The 
present Methodist church was built in 1827. It was built 
on a lot granted by the State on the public square. The- 
Presbyterians, Baptists and Episcopalians had each a lot 
granted by the State on the same square. The Baptist, 
church having been burned, it was decided not to rebuild 
on the lot it had, and the church was built on Wayne street. 
The Roman Catholics built a neat brick house on Jefferson, 

The want of a sufificient supply of water free from calca- 
reous admixture led to the establishment of a system of 
water-works by which the waters of Fishing creek were 

Near Milledgeville, in Midway, the Oglethorpe Univer- 
sity was located. It was a Presbyterian college, of which 
we speak more at length in our chapter on Georgia colleges. 
It was nominally removed to Atlanta after the war; but, as 
it had neither buildings nor endowment, it was never rees- 

The Georgia Lunatic Asylum was originated in 1837, 
through the influence of a stranger from New York, who 
succeeded in getting the first bill passed for its establish- 
ment. Dr. Cooper was its first superintendent, but the- 



AND THE Georgia People. 259 


asylum was really not an institution until Dr. Green took 
charge of it. He was superintendent for many years, and 
died in the ofifice, and was succeeded by Dr. Powell, who 
has for the twenty years since Dr. Green died been super- 
intendent. It is now the largest and best equipped State 
asylum of the entire South. 

The city of Milledgeville has grown rapidly since the 
war, and its healthfulness is greatly improved in these late 

There was an academy in Milledgeville as soon as it was 
settled, and there have been famous schools in the city and 
county since that time. There were two incorporated acad- 
emies in the county which I am unable to locate. Their 
names were Corinth and Leonora. Dr. Brown established 
a famous high school for young ladies at Scottsboro, which 
had quite a patronage for some years. After the war the 
old capitol was turned over to the trustees of the Middle 
Georgia College, and a military school was established on 
the old grounds. Young people of both sexes, however, 
were admitted to its halls. A few years since the State 
decided to establish an industrial and normal school for 
young women, and Milledgeville secured its location in its 
midst, and the grounds formerly used by the State prison 
were chosen as a site, and very handsome buildings erected 
at the expense of the State. The institution has been very 
popular and largely patronized. 

To merely mention a small number of the distinguished 
people who have resided in this county would take more 
space than can be given to any one county. The fact that 
Milledgeville was the capital, as well as the fact that the 
larger part of the county was exceptionally fertile, led 
many of the best people from the older counties to make 
Milledgeville their home. Some of them have been already 
spoken of. Among them was Dr. Thompson Bird, who 
was a physician, born in Delaware. He had married Miss 

260 The Story of Georgia [Chap. VI. 

Williamson, a sister of Mrs. Governor Clark, in Washington. 
He was a very intelligent, public-spirited man. He was the 
father of Mrs. L. Q. C. Lamar, Sr., and the grandfather 
of the distinguished Mississippi senator. Colonel Jack 
Howard, a prominent and influential and enterprising man, 
who had been a soldier in the Revolution, located in Mil- 
ledgeville when it was first settled, and removed from there 
to Columbus. Myles Green, one of the most saintly and 
devout of Christian men, was clerk of the county courts. 
Seaton Grantland, who came to Baldwin a poor printer 
and left behind him a princely estate and a highly honored 
name, spent the whole of his active life here. Dr. B. A. 
White, a man famous for his intelligence and his broad 
views, died in Milledgeville, and was succeeded by his 
gifted son, Dr. Samuel G. White. Miller Grieve, a sturdy 
Scotchman, came to the county a youth, and died in it at 
an honored old age. He was a man of great worth and of 
strong mind — a Whig of the olden time, when the Recorder 
and the Federal Union were the rival political papers of the 
State. Colonel Richard M. Orme, his associate editor of 
the Recorder, was noted for the sterling excellencies of his 
moral character as well as for his honesty as a politician. 
Dr. W. H. Hall, a physician of rare ability and a gentle- 
man of great culture and refinement, was born in this city, 
and died in it. Nathan C. Barnett, who was Secretary of 
State for a longer time than any man who ever lived in 
Georgia, and who was recognized by all as one of the most 
upright of men, long lived in Milledgeville. Lucius Q. C. 
Lamar, the father of the governor whose early and sad 
death deprived Georgia of one of her most gifted and up- 
right men, had his home here. John Hammond, for long 
years the efficient, careful, trustworthy steward of the 
Lunatic Asylum, whose name was a synonym for probity, 
had his home in Midway. Dr. Stephen K. Talmage, one of 
the distinguished family of that name, who came from New 

1800-1812.J AND THE GEORGIA PeOPLB. 261 

Jersey to Georgia, and was for many years the president of 
Oglethorpe University, which, while he lived, was a leading 
institution among the Presbyterians, lived and died in Mid- 

Colonel Broughton, who edited for many years the Fed- 
eral Ufiion newspaper, was a man of fine mind and strong 
convictions, and exerted a great influence in Georgia pol- 

Perhaps no man of his time did more service to his State 
than Dr. T. F. Green, who for years was superintendent 
of the Lunatic Asylum. This great charity which has 
done so much for unhappy invalids, if it did not originate 
with him, reached its stable place as an institution through 
his influence and care. He was of Irish lineage. His 
father was an exile of 1798, who was a professor in the 
State University. Dr. Green was a physician of fine parts, 
who gave himself for life to the work of curing lunatics. 
He had wonderful skill in managing men, and succeeded 
with all the odds against him. 

Judge Iverson L. Harris, a distinguished jurist, whose 
wealth of intelligence and purity of character and strength 
of mind made up one of the most valued of men, lived 
here. These men and such as these, who have all passed 
away, have made the little county of Baldwin famous in 
the State for its men of character and gifts. 


Putnam was laid off from Baldwin in 1807. It was 
named in honor of the brave old general, and its county 
site for General Eaton, who had distinguished himself in 
the war with Tripoli. It had been on the eastern border of 
the Creek Nation for over twenty-five years. 

Hancock, which was originally Greene, had been settled 
since 1785, and was just across the river, and while the 
whites had made no permanent settlements in the Nation 

262 The Story of Georgia [Chap. VI. 

on the west side of the river, many of them had their 
cattle ranches, and perhaps not a few had opened farms in 
the unceded country before the purchase was made in 
1803. When the land was distributed by lottery the popu- 
lation in the eastern counties was already considerable, and 
especially on the good lands in Hancock there were thick 
settlements. As soon as the new purchase was opened the 
restless people of the counties near by pressed into it. 
Other immigrants joined them, many of them from Vir- 
ginia and a larger number from the eastern counties of the 

The county was one of the fairest in middle Georgia, 
In the descriptions of the eastern counties we have de- 
scribed this charming country. Grand forests covered the 
hills, limpid streams made their way through great brakes 
of cane. The Oconee bordered the county on one side, 
and Little river made its way entirely through it. Bold 
brooks and large creeks were in all parts of it. Much of 
the land was the rich mulatto land, esteemed by the old 
planters as the best in the world ; much of it was in rich 
valleys on the sides of creeks and rivers, and much of it a 
less fertile but more easily cultivated gray land. There 
was but little really sterile land in the county, and none of 
it was waste. It was not to be wondered at that so fair a 
land was at once peopled, and it was only a few months 
after the whites were permitted to settle before the country 
was teeming with inhabitants and the smoke rose from 
hundreds of camp-fires before the one-roomed cabin was 
built. The ferries were kept going night and day and im- 
migrants came rushing in. 

The first settlers were: 

Wm. Wilkins, Benj. Williamson, John Lamar, John 
Buckner, Elias S. Shorter, Stephen Marshall, John McBride, 
Captain Vesey, James Hightower, JohnTrippe, Isaac More- 
land, John White, Benj. Whitefield, Jos. Cooper, Josiah 

1800-1812.] AND THE GEORGIA PeOPLE. 263 

Flournoy, M. Ponder, Ward Hill, Rev. R. Pace, Rev. John 
Collinsworth, R. Bledsoe, Wm. Turner, Wylie Roberts, 
Mark Jackson, Peter Flournoy, Thos. Park, Raleigh Holt, 
A. Richardson, Tarpley Holt, James Kendrick, Reuben 
Herndon, T. Woodbridge, Joseph Turner, Warren Jackson, 
Edward Traylor, Samuel M. Echols, James Echols, E. 
Abercrombie, Matthew Gage, Thomas Napier, Wm. Jack- 
son, Simon Holt. 

None of these new counties, of which Putnam was one, 
could be said to have had any first settlers. They came in 
droves, and those mentioned are a few of many. These 
first people were mainly Georgians, the land being given 
away to Georgians by lottery. The lots were two hundred 
and two and one half acres in size, and when Putnam was 
first settled it was dotted all over with small farms. 

Provisions were the only products. Tobacco was not 
raised and cotton was not as yet planted. Corn, hogs and 
cattle there were in great abundance. The people were 
not many of them people of means, and the luxuries en- 
joyed by the planters of Columbia and Burke were not 
during this decade found in this new county. 

The first people came not only from the older counties 
of Georgia, but from North Carolina, Virginia and Mary- 
land. There was little to distinguish them from those we 
have pictured as living in Hancock and Greene. They 
were much the same, and, as in Greene, the still-house was 
not far from the church, and in the inventory of estates 
the psalm-book and the Bible are put close beside the 
thirty-gallon still. 

After the war of 1812, and the wonderful impetus given 
to cotton production, the people of Putnam increased their 
wealth very rapidly. Lands were fresh and rich, cotton 
was high, negroes were comparatively cheap and increased 
rapidly, and those who settled with a few slaves in the 
county in 1803 found themselves the owners of a hundred 

264 The Story of Georgia [Chap. vi. 

by 1830. There was little elegance but much solid com- 
fort in the county until about 1845, when a number of 
handsome homes were erected on the plantations or in 
Eatonton. These mansions, with generally eight large 
rooms twenty feet square, with broad galleries and wide 
halls, were handsomely furnished, and the hospitality dis- 
pensed was generous. There were fine carriage horses, 
coachmen, footmen, maid servants and men servants, and 
there was nowhere a more elegant and luxurious life than 
was found in many of the families of Putnam. 

The population of the county in 18 10 was 6,809 whites 
and 3,220 slaves; in 1830 there were 5,554 whites and 
7,707 slaves; in 1850 the free population had been reduced 
to 3,326 whites, and there were 7,468 slaves. 

These figures tell the story of the great changes which 
passed over this magnificent country. The necessity of 
providing for so many dependents left the slaveholder but 
little time to improve his plantation, and when he wore out 
his lands he opened new forests, until he had laid the whole 
wood low. He found himself at the end of the war be- 
tween the States with a yard full of negroes, a sadly im- 
poverished plantation and a heavy debt. 

The railroad reached Eatonton as a branch of the Central 
soon after the Milledgeville branch was completed. It was 
finally extended to Covington, so that the city of Eatonton 
has now good railroad facilities. 

Putnam early had academies, and the academy at Eaton- 
ton was a famous school taught by Alonzo Church, after- 
ward president of the State University. There were some 
county academies in addition to the central academy, and 
(^uite a number of private schools. A famous academy 
was known as Union academy, near where Philadelphia 
church now is. Here William H. Seward, a young New 
Yorker, taught a country school. He afterward returned 
to New York, became its governer, and was in after time 

1800-1812.] AND THE GEORGIA PeOPLE. 265 

secretary of state. Near this same church Jos. A. Turner, 
an eccentric, gifted man, published the Coimtryman, and in 
his country ofifice Joel Chandler Harris learned his trade as 
a printer and began his career as a writer for the press. 

The Baptists, Methodists and Presbyterians came with 
the first settlers into the county, and there were organiza- 
tions of these churches before the county was separated 
from Baldwin. 

The first Baptist church was Harmony, which was organ- 
ized in 1806. The first Methodist church building was Vic- 
tory, built before 181 2. The first Presbyterian church was 
built near the same time. 

Up to 1 8 19 there was no church in Eatonton. The pop- 
ulation of the village was small and the church people held 
their connection with country churches. Then, largely 
through the influence of Rev. Coleman Pendleton, the ordi- 
nary, a union church was built. William Arnold and John 
Collinsworth, two famous Methodist preachers, lived near 

Dr. Henry Branham, a man of large intelligence and 
wisdom, was a prominent man in Putnam. He was the 
father of the beloved and gifted Walter R. Branham, who 
was born in this county, and who was for many years a 
prominent Methodist preacher in Georgia. 

Judge James Meriwether was a scion of that distinguished 
family which has been so noted for public services in 
Virginia and Georgia. He was a judge of the superior 
court, a member of Congress and speaker of the Georgia 
House of Representatives. 

Irby H. Hudson, for years speaker of the House, also 
lived here. 

The Rev. John W. Knight, one of the most gifted and 
worthy Methodist preachers, whose praise is in all the 
churches, lived in this county for years, and died while re- 
siding in it. 

266 The Story of Georgia [Chap. VI. 

Judge David Rosser Adams, one of the worthiest of men, 
long lived here. 

Josiah Flournoy was in Putnam at its first settlement. 
He was a pushing planter, an enthusiastic Christian and 
the first prohibitionist in Georgia. He canvassed the State 
to secure signers to a petition to abolish the whisky traffic, 
and made a brave though unsuccessful fight against it. He 
made a large fortune, gave liberally to all benevolences, 
and built and endowed a school near Talbotton, which he 
called in honor of an old friend CoUinsworth Institute. 

Alexander Reid, famous as an enterprising and public- 
spirited planter, and as the progenitor of a large and influ- 
ential family, resided in this county. 

These are a few of those worthy people who have made 
this county famous. 


Immediately northwest of Putnam was Morgan, which 
was made a county at the same time, 1807, and called Mor- 
gan in honor of the brave old general, and its county site 
was called Madison in honor of James Madison. 

In its physical features it is almost the exact counterpart 
of Putnam. The lower part of the county from Madison 
southward, and for some miles north of it, was that fine red 
land so much valued by the Georgia cotton-planter. The 
Little river, Sugar creek, Hard Labor creek, Indian creek, 
and the Oconee and Apalachee rivers were all in the 
county, and on each of them were rich bottoms. The land 
was heavily timbered with a magnificent forest. It was 
given away by lottery, and many persons who drew lots of 
land fixed their homes on them. It adjoined Greene, 
Clarke and Oglethorpe, and was most rapidly settled. The 
first settlers came from the older counties, and in the main 
were people of moderate means. 

There were 5,951 free people and 2,418 slaves in the 

1800-1812.] AND THE GEORGIA PEOPLE. 267 

county in i8io, three years after its settlement; in 1830 
there were 5,225 free people and 6,820 slaves, and in 1850 
there were only 3,000 free and 6,000 slaves. 

These figures show the changes which took place in the 
county in forty years. The first settlers occupied the rich 
lands on the rivers and creeks and raised stock. There was 
very little cotton raised until after the war of 1 8 1 2. There was 
one cotton-machine, as the gin was then called, in Madison 
in 1807, which was owned by Mr. Thomas Jones, who 
bought the cotton in the seed and shipped it, when ginned, 
by wagons to Augusta. 

The wills made show the people had little property save 
live stock, but they had a great deal of that. Many of them 
had a few negroes, though but few of them had more 
than a half-dozen. Some of the wills are curiosities in the 
art of wrong spelling. They were evidently written by one 
acquainted with legal terms, and are prepared in proper 
form. One of them, made in 1807, reads thus : 

"The maker of the will wishes his jeste debtes to be paid, 
lendes his wife a resenble portien of hogs for family plentee, 
and towls (tools) suficent to make a crop. Gives his secent 
child 15 10, and the value of a negrow gail to be delivered 
when cold (sold)." 

The drinking habits of the people seem to have been very 
bad, as is evident from the fact that every merchant in the 
county was presented in one of the courts by the grand 
jury for selling whisky without a license, and by the number 
of stills which appear in the appraisements. 

The cotton industry received a great impetus after the 
war of 18 1 2, and men with a large number of negroes be- 
gan to move in and buy out the small landholders. It is 
the same story of devastation ; lands were worn out and 
turned out; people moved away into the new country and 
their places were taken by negro slaves, until in 1850 there 
were 3,000 whites and 6,000 slaves, and these whites were 

268 The Story of Georgia [Chap. VI. 

largely found in the villages and in the thin gray lands of 
the northern part of the county. The planters lived in 
elegant homes in Madison, and an overseer took charge of 
their plantations. 

The upper part of the county was more thickly settled 
with white people, and there were fewer large plantations. 
The rich planters absorbed the whole of the lower part of 
the county, and then moved many of their negroes to south- 
western Georgia and Texas. A few planters owned nearly 
all the land and overseers took the place of the independent 

Madison was laid out in 1810 and soon became a town of 
importance. The first court was held at the house of 
Fields Kennedy, near Madison, and the first grand jury 
was composed of: 

Nipper Adams, James Brannon, David Montgomery, Eli 
Townsend, James Mathews, Wm. Noble, Pascal Harrison, 
Godfrey Zimmerman, Wm. Randle, Wm. Brown, Graves 
Harris, John Wyatt, S. Noble, G. Bond, A. J. Chadox, Jno. 
Fielder, Daniel Bankston, William Swift, S. Walker, O. 
Walker, John Walker, Nathaniel Allen, Thos. Walls, Chas.. 
Smith, John Finley, John Cook, Andrew Nutt, Jos. Peeples,. 
Wyley Heflin, Thos. Heard. 

The first sheriff was Joseph White. 

The first store in the county was that of Thomas Jones^ 
where Madison is now located. 

The first settlers, according to White, were Bedney Frank- 
lin, Wm. Brown, Chas. Mathews, Dr. Johnson, Lancelot 
Johnson, Adam Saffold, R. Mann, and Dr. Wingfield. 

To this list might be added a great many more, for it 
could be said of Morgan, as of Putnam, it never had any 
infancy. In a few short months after it was settled there 
v.'ere thousands of people building their cabins on its hills. 
It never had many of the features of pioneer life. Greene 


AND THE Georgia People. 269 

was just across the river, and Clarke, which had been peo- 
pled nearly twenty years, just north of it. 

People of moderate means came into it at first, and 
the returns from their labors were almost immediate. The 
hogs and cattle multiplied with great rapidity, and up to 
1812 there was almost an excess of the means of support. 
Good board was only four dollars per month, corn was 
thirty cents and wheat was seventy-five cents per bushel. 
Madison was one hundred miles from Augusta, which was 
the market for all upper Georgia, and became a place of 
considerable commercial importance early in its history, 
and when the Georgia railroad reached it, which it did in 
the early forties, it was for some time the leading cotton 
market for upper Georgia. 

The early citizens of Madison were most of them people 
of wealth, who had large plantations or remunerative pro- 
fessions or profitable mercantile establishments, and fine 
living and high living was a mark of the people, but they 
were not famed for their piety. In 1827 there was no 
church in the village. There was occasional preaching in 
the court-house, but the village was destitute of a church 
building. The Legislature allowed the inferior court to 
make a gift to the Methodist, Baptist and Presbyterian 
churches of an acre of ground each, and in 1827 the Meth- 
odist church was built. The Baptist church was built soon 
after on the lot now occupied by the Baptist church for the 
colored people, and the Presbyterian somewhat later. The 
bulk of the population was in the rural districts, and before 
Morgan was a county there was preaching in the county by 
the Methodists, Baptists and Presbyterians. In 1806 a 
Baptist church, known as Holland Spring, was built on 
Hard Labor creek, and another by 1807 on Sugar creek. 
The Methodists had preaching in private homes, and a 
strong circuit was formed in which Morgan was included. 
The first deed of property to them I find was in 1 8 1 1 . Har- 

270 The Story of Georgia [Chap. vi. 

mony, near what is now Rutledge, Buckhead and Rehoboth 
are all old churches. There was a camp-meeting in Morgan 
for a number of years, and in 1827 a grand revival, which 
resulted in the building of the church at Madison. 

Madison early became noted for its elegance and refine- 
ment as well as for its wealth, and took great interest in 
education. The Methodists and Baptists built each a female 
college, which were prosperous up to the war. The war 
brought great changes to Morgan. For years the profit of 
cotton-planting had been diminishing, and in slave times 
the expense of any kind of large farming in Morgan was 
greater than its profits, and this fact and the lavish living 
of planters involved many of them in debt, and when the 
war ended and their negroes were freed many of them were 
hopelessly insolvent. 

The railroad carried away much of the trade which for- 
merly belonged to the town, and for some time the town 
and county were in a sadly depressed condition, but a 
change for the better has passed over it. The building of 
the Macon and Northern road brought Madison in closer 
contact with Savannah and opened a new country to it. 
The building of various factories, and especially the over- 
throw of the whisky trafific, has given it a new life. One 
of the handsomest graded school buildings in a town of its 
size is in Madison. There are four churches for white 
people and two good brick churches for colored people, 
and good schools for all classes. The upper part of the 
county has greatly improved. The lower part is still largely 
tenanted by negroes. 

There are several sprightly villages in the county — Rut- 
ledge, Buckhead, Rehoboth, Godfrey and Apalachee. 

Morgan has been the home of many noble and worthy 

Adam Saffold was among her earliest lawyers, as his 
brother Reuben was one of her earliest physicians. Com- 

1800-1812.] AND THE GEORGIA PeOPLE. 271 

ing from Washington county in his youth, he lived and 
died in Morgan. He was a man of pure character, large 
wealth and great intelligence. 

Joshua Hill, who was long a representative in Congress 
and a senator, who refused to accept the doctrine of a 
State's right to secede, and remained a Union man to the 
last, had his home here. 

John B. Walker, a great planter, one of the most public- 
spirited and generous of men, who lived to see his immense 
estate pass from his hands, and to bear himself with as 
much cheerfulness and dignity in his poverty as had marked 
him when he owned five hundred slaves, spent his life here. 

Among its other public men were: Thomas J. Burney, 
the worthy custodian of the funds of Mercer University, 
whose judgment was as good as his honor was spotless; 
David E. Butler, the genial and gifted Baptist preacher and 
lawyer, who was as zealous in his ministry and his devotion 
to the interests of his church as though State affairs had 
never engaged him; Samuel A. Burney, whose saintly life 
was a benediction to the community; John A. Porter, the 
large-hearted, upright, hospitable friend of all men, whose 
devotion to the Methodist Church was lifelong, and whose 
services for its benefit untiring; Wilds Kolb, whose benevo- 
lence toward the church is still seen in the returns from 
his bequests for its benefit. These are some of those who 
have done much for the county of their residence. 


Jasper county was originally called Randolph in honor 
of John Randolph, who was a great favorite in Georgia 
because of his denunciation of the Yazoo fraud, as he 
delighted in calling it; but when Mr. Randolph opposed the 
war of 1812, and severely denounced Mr. Jefferson, who 
was immensely popular in Georgia, the Legislature changed 
the name of the county and called it Jasper, after Sergeant 

272 The Story of G-eorgia [Chap. VI. 

Jasper. It would be but repeating the description given of 
Putnam and Morgan if Jasper should be described as it was 
at its settlement. The same kind of country, the same class 
of settlers and much the same history marked all these 
counties which I have joined together as Middle Georgia. 

Jasper, like its sister counties, had been rapidly peopled, 
and mainly by Georgians who moved from the older coun- 
ties. As was the case in Morgan, they were generally poor 
people, without culture and with few slaves. The land was 
very rich, and, as they were an industrious, thrifty people 
who lived closely and worked hard, they were at once inde- 
pendent, and many made fortunes. The names of the first 
grand jury, which met in 1808, will give an idea of some 
of the more important of the early settlers: Jether Mobley, 
Boiling Smith, Richard Carter, Stephen Lacy, Jesse Evans, 
Jordan Baker, Henry Haynes, John Morgan, Adam Gla- 
zier, Sol Stricklin, Wm. Pate, Spencer Lamb, Micajah Fret- 
well, Thomas Ramsey, Joshua Hagerty, John H. Whatley, 
Thomas Gammage, Solomon Patrick, William Lord, Thos. 
Hooks, Saul Townsend, George Morgan. 

The population in 1810 was: Free 5,752, slave 1,821; in 
1830, 6,809 free, 6,332 slave; and in 1850, 4,352 free, 7,134 
slave. These figures tell the same story as those of Put- 
num and Morgan. The white people who came in great 
numbers and opened up the country; who raised hogs and 
corn; who had few or no slaves, first occupied the land; but 
when the new purchase across the Ocmulgee was made, 
they vacated their places and went into the new counties, 
and their farms were bought by the wealthy slave-owners. 
Where there was in 18 10 a dozen prosperous farmers with 
an abundance of all necessaries around them, there was, in 
1850, only one large planter. 

The thrifty village of Hillsboro, near which the cele- 
brated Benjamin H. Hill was born, was in the center of the 
richest part of Jasper, and there was at one time a thickly 

1800-1812.] AND THE GEORGIA PEOPLE. 273 

settled country around it. It had an academy and a church 
and quite a number of inhabitants; but the farmers moved 
west, and the little village sank almost out of sight. It 
was, however, revived by the coming of the railway. 

The Jasper people, like those of the other counties of this 
section, were mostly eastern Georgians, though some came 
from Virginia and North Carolina. They were people of 
very simple lives, and many of them of very primitive man- 
ners. The celebrated "horse swap," in which "Yaller 
Blossom of Jasper" so distinguished himself, had its scene 
laid in this county, and the actual scene was doubtless 
before the eye of Judge Longstreet when he came from 
Augusta to manage a case before the superior court of 
Jasper county. The people, while not generally educated, 
put a high estimate on education, and at one time, in the 
early years of the century, there were five chartered acade- 
mies in the county. The county underwent rapid changes, 
and the white population rapidly diminished after cotton- 
planting began on an extensive scale. 

The lower part of Jasper, and much of the eastern part, 
was remarkably fertile and offered great temptation to the 
wealthy slave-owners of Wilkes and Hancock to buy lands 
and remove; and they often bought a half-dozen farms to 
make one plantation, and thus diminished the white popu- 
lation and increased that of the slaves. This was true of 
the lands on the rivers and creeks; but the plateaus of thin 
gray land near to Morgan and Newton were taken by 
people of moderate means who had small farms and few 
slaves. As this .land did not invite the large slave-owner, 
it fell into the hands of white people, and the bulk of the 
whites were in this section. After the war it was the most 
desirable part of the county. 

The first deed for a Baptist church was made in 1810, to 
ten acres of land near Monticello. At a later period the 


274 The Story op Georgia [Chap. vi. 

church was removed to the village. The Methodists had 
a church in the village as early as 1815, and doubtless one 
at Hillsboro before that. In 18 12, Thomas Grant, one of 
the first Methodists in Georgia, who, in conjunction with 
his father, had built the first Methodist church in Georgia, 
removed to Monticello, to engage in merchandizing. Here 
he spent the last years of his life. He died in 1827. He 
was a man of large wealth and of great benevolence, and 
left a generous bequest to the worn-out preachers of his- 

The remoteness of Jasper from the railway for many 
years and the exhaustion of its fertility by bad farming led 
to a large emigration from the county, and the growth of 
Macon and its proximity to the county were fatal to the 
commercial prosperity of Monticello; so that, with the 
exception of a large increase in the negro population and 
in the fictitious value of the slaves, the county did not get 
richer, but rather poorer, from 1830 to 1850. It is, how- 
ever, now in a better condition than it has been for many 
years past. 

Monticello, which was made the county site when the 
county was laid out, was a thriving county town until the 
railroads drew off its trade to Macon, Madison and Covinof- 
ton, and it then declined; but it took on new life when the 
railroad from Macon to Covington and Athens was built; 
and it is now quite a thriving place, with handsome churches 
and fine graded schools. 

Hillsboro, Machen and Shady Dale are, each of them, 
neat villages," with good churches and schools. 

The county has suffered fearfully from the whisky-mak- 
ing and whisky-drinking habits of its earlier people, but it 
is now a prohibition county. 

Cotton-planting was in its infancy when Jasper was set- 
tled, and, as in the neighboring counties, there was but little 


AND THE Georgia People. 275 

made. There was no market nearer than Augusta and 
there was but little trade. 

The wealth of the county up to 1820 was sheep, goats, 
hogs and neat cattle; but in no county were there more 
abundant supplies of these products. There were, alas! a 
good many still-houses and much whisky made. At that 
time the morality of whisky- and brandy-making was not 
recognized as a question, and in an appraisement in Jasper 
I find, as in other middle Georgia counties, a Bible, a 
hymn-book, a still and a puncheon of whisky in close 
proximity to each other. 


Jones was named in honor of the Hon. James Jones, a 
Marylander who came to Georgia to his uncle, Colonel 
Marbury, when quite young, and was educated in Augusta 
and settled in Savannah. He was a young senator and 
died in 1801. (White.) 

This county resembles very much the other counties of 
which we have been speaking, from the pine-belt north- 
ward; but in the lower part of the county there was a 
small strip of rather sterile pine forest. This section of 
the county was very thinly settled for many years. The 
strong" red lands from Clinton northward, stretchinaf out to 
the river, were soon taken by immigrants who drew the 
lots and who settled on the land granted to them. There 
were few farms of over two hundred acres, and as the land 
was very rich and the range very extensive, there was in a 
few years after the county was made a very large and 
prosperous population. The people came from the older 
counties and brought with them a few slaves and raised 
supplies for family use. They were over a hundred miles 
from Augusta and the roads were almost impassable during 
the winter, and for over ten years after the county was set- 
tled no man raised ten bales of cotton. 

276 The Story of Georgia [Chap. vi. 

The wills and estates taken as they come show as the pos- 
sessions of the people : Cattle, hogs, a few feather-beds, 
a wagon, a spinning-wheel, some pewter-plates, some kitchen 
utensils, some horses, a few articles of plain furniture, some 
sheep, some geese, and a very few books. 

The richer planters, who raised cotton and had many 
negroes, did not come to Jones and the adjoining counties 
at an early day. 

The first grand jury was John Bond, Daniel Hightower, 
James Jones, John Mitchell, Geo. Ross, Stephen Gafford, 
Wm. Calwell, Elkannah Sawyer, Nicolas Ferrell, William 
Monk, Samuel Calwell, Peter Sanders, Philip Catchings, 
Eph. Ellis, Elijah Turner, Seymour Catchings, Thos. Seals, 
Zech. Boothe, Jacob Dennis, Ebenezer Moses, John Harvey, 
Wm. Jackson, Jno. Bond, Jas, Mclnvail, James Huddleston, 
Giles Driver, Chas. Gachet, Wm. Perry, Jesse McPope, 
Jno. Cooke, Green Winne, Thomas Stephens, Wm. Carr. 

Those familiar with Georgia people will see how many 
of these names are found in Greene, Hancock and Wilkes. 
There were quite a number of people of intelligence, but 
the larger number of the people were quite plain and igno- 
rant. Of the thirty-one women who signed deeds before 
1818 thirty of them could not write. 

Clinton was made the county site when the county was 
first laid out; but it was then known as Albany, and the 
first deeds from the commissioners were for lots in the 
town of Albany. 

H. M. Comer, Thos. White, Jno. Cook and Wm. Holton 
were the judges of the inferior court. 

The crowd who came rushing into the county was a 
motley one, and to some extent a lawless one. In the 
court of 1808 there were seven indictments for assault, one 
for perjury, one for larceny. This was the first court held 
after the county was organized. Six years afterward there 


AND THE Georgia People. 271 

were thirteen for assaults, two for cattle-stealing, one for 
murder and six for misdemeanors. 

There came into Jones after the beginning of the great 
cotton industry a large number of the well-to-do planters, 
and wealth very rapidly increased. 

These wealthy planters were mainly from the eastern 
counties in Georgia, but there were not a few who came 
from North Carolina and Virginia. After 1820 many of 
the smaller landholders went west of the Ocmulgee and 
their farms were merged into great plantations, until for 
miles along the highway every acre was owned by one man. 
No county was settled more rapidly, none worn out sooner, 
and none deserted by its first settlers more completely than 

Much of Jones is, however, still fertile, and many families 
abide where their grandfathers settled. The county has 
been immortalized by the musical pen of Sidney Lanier: 

" I knew a man and he lived in Jones, • 

Wliich Jones is a county of red hills and stones, 
And he lived pretty much by gettin' of loans, 
And his mules was nothin' but skin and bones, 
And his hogs were as fat as hrs corn-bread pones, 
And he had 'bout a thousand acres of land." 

The first settlers, according to White, were Jonathan Par- 
rish, Peter Clower, Henry Low, Wm. Williams, Wilkins 
Jackson, Jeremiah Pearson, Major Humphries, James Co- 
mer, Hugh Comer, Roger McCarthy, Allen Greene, Benj. 
Tarver, Barley Stewart, James Anthony, George Harper, 
John Chappel, Jesse M. Pope, Henry Pope, John Bayne, S. 
Kirk, Wm. Cabiness, P. A. Lewis, James Jones, Wm. Jones, 
Robert Hutchins, and James Gray. To these might be 
added George Cabiniss, John Cabiniss, Henry Cabiniss, 
Robert Ousley, Isaac Moreland, and many others. 

The little town of Clinton, before Macon began to be, 
was a place of much importance, and even after the begin- 
ning of Macon a place of large trade and famous as being 

278 The Story of Georgia [Chap, vi* 

the place in which more cotton-gins were manufactured 
than anywhere in the South. 

Mr. Samuel Griswold, an enterprising Connecticut man, 
and Mr. Daniel Pratt, from the same section, established 
their celebrated gin factory in Clinton. Their agents went 
all through Georgia and Alabama and the more remote 
Southern States, and great wagon loads of gins were sent 
out from Clinton before the railways were built. Then Mr. 
Pratt went to Alabama and founded the famous town of 
Prattville, and Mr. Griswold founded Griswoldville on the 
Central railroad. During the war the works at Griswold- 
ville were burned and never rebuilt. 

In the early days of Jones, when the population was 
large and the white people numerous, there were prosper- 
ous country churches and good country schools, as well as 
an academy in Clinton, but with the changes in population, 
and especially with the growth of Macon, where there were 
better educational facilities, and to which many Jones 
county people removed, the high school was given up and 
the country schools were few and inferior in many parts of 
the county, and the country churches suffered from the 
same causes. The rich lands along the river were at one 
time populous, but the lands were soon worn out and the 
people crossed the river and went west, and the few who 
were left were unable to keep up churches and schools, and 
where there were scores of families there was left a wide 
waste of worn-out lands. 

In Clinton there was almost from its first settlement an 
excellent class of Methodists who had at an early day a 
large and, for those days, a handsome church, and in other 
parts of the county there were flourishing Methodist and 
Baptist churches. The growth of the plantations led to the 
abandonment of these houses of worship except in a few 
neighborhoods, even before the war. After it was over 

1800-1812.] AND THE GEORGIA PeOPLE. 279 

and new railways were built villages began to spring up, 
and churches and schools followed, and now no county is 
better supplied with churches and schools than many parts 
of Jones. 

The negroes in the county are still very numerous. They 
are generally tenants who rent small farms, for the rental 
of which they pay a few bags of cotton. 

This county was famous for the scene of the Bunkley 
trial. Jesse Bunkley, a profligate young man of large prop- 
erty, disappeared from Jones and went no one knew where, 
and for years he was never heard of. At last the convic- 
tion became fixed that he was dead and his estate was di- 
vided among his relatives. Long after this division was 
made a man who bore a striking resemblance to him ap- 
peared and declared that he was Jesse Bunkley. Many 
who had known Bunkley swore to their belief that he was 
not speaking falsely, and many refused to admit his claim. 
It was finally charged that the alleged Bunkley was a man 
named Barber, and on the prosecution of Barber as a swin- 
dler the case was brought before a jury. It was proven to 
its satisfaction that he was Elisha Barber, an impostor, and 
he was sent to the State prison; but many clung to their be- 
lief that he was Jesse Bunkley, whose only crime was that 
he sought to recover property in the hands of others. 

The population of Jones in 1810 was 6,000 free and 
2,587 slaves; in 1830, 6,516 free and 6,829 slaves; in 1850, 
only 3,945 free and 6,279 slaves. The relative proportion 
between the two races has undergone some change since 
the war, but there are many more negroes than whites still 
in the county. 

The construction of railways to Savannah, Athens and 
Augusta, all of which pass through Jones, has given the 
county the best railway facilities, and a number of stations, 
Griswoldville, James, Haddock, Gray, Round Oak, Brad- 

280 The Story of Georgia [Chap. VI. 

ley and Roberts, have sprung up on the lines of railway , 
and do a thrifty business. j 

There has been quite an exodus from the country to these 1 
villages, in which there have been established good schools 
and churches. 

Jones has been more famous for its successful planters 
than for its distinguished public men, but it has been the j 
birthplace of not a few distinguished in the various walks ' 
of life. 

The celebrated Judge Robert V. Hardeman lived and 
died in Jones. 

The celebrated Judge Henry G. Lamar, commissioner to 
the Creeks and a prominent jurist, was a native of Jones. 

H. M. Comer, the celebrated railroad magnate, was born 
in this county. 


The lands purchased in 1802 were divided in 1803, as 
has been already stated, into three counties, Baldwin, Wil- 
kinson and Wayne. Out of each of these many other coun- 
ties were carved, until each of them was reduced to a small 
area. Wilkinson is now a county of moderate size and of 
limited resources. It is named Wilkinson in honor of the 
general of that name who served in the southwest, and the 
county site, Irwinton, is named for Governor Irwin. The 
Central railroad passes through its upper border, and it has 
two or three small villages along its line. The first settlers, 
according to Mr. White, were: Chas. C. Beall, S. B. Mur- 
phey, J. Hoover, J. Meredith, Abner Hicks, A. Passmore, 
John Freeman, Joel Rivers, Samuel Bragg, John Lavender, 
Isaac Hull. 

The population of Wilkinson in 1810 was 1,836 whites 
and only 318 slaves. In 1830, when it was much reduced 
in size, there were 5,591 whites and 1,922 slaves; and in 
1850 there were 5,467 whites and 2,745 slaves. In 1890 

1800-1812.] AND THE GEORGIA PEOPLE. 281 

there were, in all, 10,781. The county is not a fertile one, 
and has not been thickly settled, and its religious and edu- 
cational advantages have not been of the best. There has, 
however, been a good academy at the county site for many 
years, and the county has shared in the advantages of the 
public school system. The Methodists and Baptists have 
provided the people with what religious instruction they 
received, and there are churches of these denominations in 
all parts of the county. 

The county has been almost purely an agricultural one, 
and there has not been a single manufactory in its borders. 
Much of the land is quite poor and inhabited by poor 
people who furnish to the Macon cotton mills a large part 
of their operatives. There is little to distinguish Wilkinson 
from the other counties that have been classified with it, 
and it is at present less important as a county than it was 
sixty years ago. 


Twiggs was formed from Wilkinson, and is directly west 
of it, and it has the same features as the county from 
which it was made. The Ocmulgee is on its western bor- 
der, and some very large creeks flow through it. Much of 
the land is a poor flat woods, but much of it near the 
creeks is of a very superior grade. The rich land was 
bought up by large planters; some of whom owned thou- 
sands of acres and had hundreds of negroes. 

The county was largely peopled by immigrants from the 
eastern counties, but drew some of its wealthiest settlers 
from eastern Virginia. Its first settlers, according to Mr. 
White, were : Arthur Fort, Ezekiel Wimberly, Wm. Perry, 
Wm. Crocker, Ira Peck, Henry Wall, General Tarver, John 
Everett, D. Williams, Joel Denson, S. Jones, Willis Hodg- 
ins, Milton Wilder, Josiah Murphy, D. Lowrey, C. Johnson, 
C. A. Tharpe, John Davis, C. W. Milton, B. Ray, S. Har- 
rell, T. Harrington, H. Sullivan, Colonel Hughes; and the 

282 The Story of GrEORaiA [Chap. vi. 

first grand jury, which was drawn at the superior court in 
i8li, was, according to the same careful authority: Frances 
Powell, M. Buzby, A. Wood, Wm. Ford, I. Wilkinson, 
T. C. Heidelburger, B. Joiner, S. Barnabee, W. Herrishell, 
T. Pearce, Wm. Carr, W. Grimes, Robin Andrews, Wm. 
Cloud, John Matthews, John Young, Arthur Fort, Jr., John 
Hawthorne, Ashley Wood, S. Belk, John Evans. 

The population of Twiggs in 1810 was 2,763 free and 
642 slave; in 1830 it was 4,524 free and 2,507 slave; and 
in 1850, 3,559 free and 4,620 slave. This slave population 
was, as in the counties of Laurens and Pulaski, not gener- 
ally distributed, but confined to one section of the county; 
and while many people had no negroes, others had a large 
number; and while the white population was increasing in 
some parts of the county, it was growing less in other sec- 
tions. The rich lands of Twiggs were settled very soon 
after they were opened by a sturdy people of small means; 
but they soon gave way, and the great plantation, as usual, 
absorbed the farms. 

The town of Marion, which was the county site for years, 
was a bustling, stirring place, with its lawyers and its mer- 
chants; but, as Macon grew, Marion lost its importance as 
a trading point, and the county site was changed to Jeffer- 
sonville, and nothing now remains to mark the place where 
it stood. 

The planters of Twiggs were men of broad views, who 
conducted great planting interests and gave their families 
all the advantages that wealth could procure. They were 
generally men of intelligence and enterprise, while their 
fellow countymen living on the poor ridges and in the flat 
woods, tilling their own farms, were poor and illiterate. 

There were but few schools in the county, and the plant- 
ers congregated at Jeffersonville, where they could keep up 
a good school. In all the county, in 1850, there were only 
seven schools, with 309 pupils. There was a great deal of 


AND THE Georgia People. 283 

wealth in some parts of the county, and near the great plan- 
tations there were rich churches well supplied with an intel- 
ligent ministry; but in the poorer sections the churches 
were very poor. The Baptists were a very wealthy and 
strong denomination in Twiggs, and the celebrated Charles 
D. Mallary resided on a large plantation in Twiggs for 
several years, and preached in the county to a Baptist con- 
gregation of remarkable intelligence and large wealth. The 
Methodists shared with the Baptists in the religious care 
of the people, and had several churches and a camp-ground 
in Twiggs in the days of its prosperity. They still keep up 
a circuit in that county. 

The building of the railway to Dublin has brought a new 
era into the county, and while there are many abandoned 
plantations where once there was great fertility, in other 
sections of the county, where there was but little prosperity 
in days gone by, there is a great change for the better. 


Laurens was laid off from Wilkinson in 1 807 and named 
Laurens in honor of Lieutenant-Colonel Laurens, the gal- 
lant South Carolinian who was killed in one of the last 
skirmishes of the Revolution. 

The first court was held at the house of Peter Thomas, 
not far from Dublin. 

The place selected as a county site in 1809 was called 
Sumterville, and was between Rocky and Turkey creeks, in 
the most thickly settled part of the county. There was a 
considerable settlement in this oak and hickory part of the 

The first grand jury was: John Speight, Benj. Adams, 
Andrew Hampton, Leonard Green, Jesse Wiggins, Benj. 
Brown, Chas. Stringer, Nathan Weaver, Wm. Yarbrough, 
Wm. Boykin, Jno. Gilbert, Jos. Yarborough, James Sartin, 
Wm. McCall, Edward Hagan, Jno. Stringer, Simon Fowler, 

284 The IStory of Georgia [Chap. VL 

Jesse Stephens, Henry Fulgham, Thomas Gilbert, Robert 
Daniel, Chas. Higdon, Sam'l Stanley, Sam'l Sparks, Joseph 
Vickers, Mark May, George Tarvin, David Watson, Joseph 
Denson, Geo. Martin, Gideon Mays, Ben. Dorsey. 

In 1809 a part of the county was added to the new 
county of Pulaski, and a part of Washington and Mont- 
gomery was added to Laurens. No public buildings had 
been erected at Sumterville, and when this new addition 
was made to the county it was decided to put the county 
site at a point nearer the river, and an Irishman who had a 
sawmill offered land for the public buildings, provided he 
was permitted to give the county site a name. This was 
agreed to, and with the remembrance of his native isle 
present, he called the coming village Dublin. 

The county after the addition was made to it was very 
large and thinly settled. There was some very fertile land 
in the western part of the county and along the river and 
in the Buckeye section, which was soon taken up by 
planters from the other parts of the State and by immi- 
grants from North Carolina and Virginia. The larger part 
of the population consisted of poor people, who bought 
their lots of land in the pine woods for a song, or simply 
squatted upon them. There were thus two widely divided 
classes at the first opening of the county. 

Governor Troup, whose ancestral domain was on the 
river, had two large plantations in Laurens, and General 
Blackshear, whose home was taken into Laurens from 
Washington, had a princely estate. The lands were cheap, 
the best selling at two dollars per acre, and the pine lands 
at from ten dollars to one hundred and fifty for a lot of two 
hundred and two and one half acres. These piny woods 
settlers were many of them very illiterate and rude in their 

Peter Early, the judge, was a courtly old Virginian, and 
when his court held at a private house, being disturbed by a 

1800-1812.] AND THE GEORGIA PeOPLE. 285 

drunken man, he ordered the sheriff to put the fellow in the 
fence, by which he meant to put his neck between the rails 
of a high fence and confine it there. The sentence was 
carried out, much to the displeasure of the man's neigh- 
bors. Another man who had sworn profanely in the 
judge'-s presence was sent to jail in Sandersville for three 
months. Another who had stolen some cattle was sen- 
tenced to be forthwith tied to a tree and given thirty-nine 
lashes on his bare back for three days in succession, and 
then branded with the letter " R," and after he paid the 
costs to be discharged. 

Of the first twenty-five persons signing deeds and other 
instruments in the county, only five were able to write their 

There were but few negroes except on the large planta- 
tions, and up to 1820 nothing was produced in the 
county for market except horses, cattle, hogs and whisky. 
The remoteness of the county from market and the ease 
with which stock was raised made it a great stock-raising 

After 1820 the cotton production on the oak and hickor}- 
lands was very great, and negroes were brought into this 
section in large numbers. The Savannah market was 
reached after 1840 by the Central railway, which the Lau- 
rens planters tapped at Tennille, and cotton was largely 
grown by the wealthy planters; but for many years the 
pine woods farmer continued to raise sheep, goats and cattle 
almost entirely. 

No county has undergone greater changes or has im- 
proved more rapidly than Laurens since the war. A rail- 
road has been constructed from Dublin to Tennille, one 
from Macon to Dublin, and one from Hawkinsville to 
Dublin, and the village has become a handsome city. The 
court-house is an elegant building, the churches are neat 
and commodious; there are banks, storehouses, warehouses 

286 The Story of Georgia [Chap. VI. 

and handsome residences. There are excellent schools in 
the city and its vicinity, and the moral tone of the county 
is of the best type. 

For many years there was but little attention given to re- 
ligion or education in the county. The rich planters sent 
their children abroad for an education, and the children of 
the poor had no school privileges. Churches were scat- 
tered and congregations were small, but a great change has 
passed over the county. 

Laurens has had her share of distinguished citizens. 
Governor Troup had his home here. He had two large 
plantations in this county, on one of which he lived. He 
called it "Valdosta," another he called "Vallambrosa." 
He lived a right lonely life, seeing few people and spending 
his time in his unpretentious home with his books, or in 
fishing and hunting. 

General David Blackshear, who came from North Caro- 
lina and settled on a grant of land he received for his ser- 
vices as a young soldier in the Revolution, was one of the 
first settlers in this county. .He was, according to his biog- 
rapher, the accurate Colonel Miller, a descendant of those 
Germans who came with Baron de Graffenreid to North 
Carolina. While a boy he served in the Revolutionary 
army, and when it was over he came to Georgia and re- 
ceived a soldier's warrant for a lot of land in Washington 
county. In i802, when the country west of the Oconee 
was purchased, he went as a surveyor into the woods, and 
not only surveyed the land but succeeded in securing a 
large body of it. He was a man of unusual sagacity and 
of great energy, and soon became a very wealthy and 
prominent man. He was made a brigadier-general in the 
war of 1812 and put in command of a department. He 
occupied high positions in the State and was a man of great 

The Guyton family was a prominent one in Laurens. 

1800-1812.] AND THE GEORGIA PEOPLE. 287 

They were of Huguenot ancestry, who came first to South 
Carolina and settled on the Santee in 1862. Some of them 
come to Georgia when Laurens was a young county and 
purchased large holdings in the Buckeye neighborhood. 
Colonel Charles Guyton, one of this family, reached dis- 
tinction during the war between the States, and was for a 
number of sessions in the Legislature. 

Many of the first immigrants to Laurens came from 
North Carolina and settled in a colony, and when Early 
county was settled, drawn by the rich promise of the new 
land, they formed another colony which settled in that sec- 
tion, and when Early was divided and Thomas was made 
the Laurens colony was quite a large factor in its popula- 

In 1810 the population of Laurens was 1,725 free and 
485 slaves; in 1830, 3,214 free and 2,375 slaves; in 1850, 
3,468 free and 2,974 slaves. 


Pulaski, as it was first laid out, was on the east side of 
the Ocmulgee river, and was formed from Laurens. After 
1820, when the new lands west of the river were opened to 
settlement, a considerable body south of what is now 
Houston was placed in Pulaski. It was named Pulaski in 
honor of the gallant Pole who fell at the siege of Savannah. 
The first county site was Hartford, but it proved to be very 
unhealthy, and a new town named in honor of Colonel Ben- 
jamin Hawkins, the Indian agent, was established on a high 
bluff on the west side of the river, and in 1836 the court- 
house was removed to that flourishing young town. 

The upper part of Pulaski was broken red land, covered 
originally with a fine growth of oak and hickory. It was 
very fertile and was soon settled, as had been Wilkinson, 
Laurens and Twiggs, with large slave-owners from the 

288 The Story of Gteorgia [Chap. VI. 

older counties. The pine lands were settled by poor peo- 
ple who had their ranches and farms in the wire-grass. 

When the new purchase on the west side of the Ocmul- 
gee was made a part of it was added to Pulaski. It pre- 
sented the same features as the older territory. The upper 
part of the county soon became a great body of planta- 
tions. The cotton was boated to Savannah, and the boats 
brought the luxuries of the city to the homes of the plant- 
ers. The planters sent their children away to college in 
Macon, Oxford, Penfield and Athens, and often fixed their 
own homes in some of the up-country towns and left their 
interests in the charge of an overseer. 

The piny woods farmer lived in his log cabin on what 
his fields and flocks furnished him, and went to Hawkins- 
ville at rare intervals for his few needful supplies. His 
home was remote from the home of his neighbor, and in 
such a state of society good schools and good churches 
were impossible. 

With the building of the Macon and Brunswick, now the 
Southern railroad, a change for the better took place, and 
this beneficial change became much greater after the war 
ended. There are now fine schools and good churches and 
good communities in Pulaski, where a score of years ago 
there was only a wild unbroken pine forest. 

The first settlers of Pulaski were Joseph Reeves, S. Col- 
son, Edmond Hagan, George Walker, Wm. Hathorn, J. M. 
Taylor, Edmond Blackshear, Mack Mason, Thos. Mitchell, 
Joseph Bryan, John Rawls, the Jordans, Lamars, Phillipses, 
and others. 

The population in 1810 was 1,585 whites and 528 slaves. 
These slaves were confined to the richer sections and in 
the pine woods there were very few. In 1830 the white 
population was 3,141 and the slaves were 1,765; in 1850, 
the free population was 3,823 and the slaves were 2,804. 
The slave population increased much more rapidly in pro- 

1800-1812.] AND THE GEORGIA PEOPLE. 289 

portion than the free, and yet the inhabitants of the pine 
woods were increasing steadily. While they increased, the 
whites from the oak and hickory lands were growing fewer. 
For nearly twenty years after Pulaski was settled there 
was a large trade, first at Hartford, and then at Hawkins- 
ville. These two towns had steamboat connection with 
Darien, and to these points cotton was brought for ship- 
ment from the near-by counties. Hawkinsville gradually 
absorbed Hartford. It had a bank and large warehouses 
and a Methodist church before it became the county site. 
It was the point to which the piny woods people of the 
lower counties brought their hides and other products for 
sale; and the Hawkinsville merchant did a large business 
with the planters of Twiggs, Houston and Dooly. With 
the growth of Macon and the building of the railroads 
Hawkinsville declined in importance until it became an 
insignificant hamlet; but after the building of the Macon 
and Brunswick (afterward the Southern) railway it revived, 
and is now a much more flourishing town than it ever was. 
It has now (1898) elegant churches, a very handsome public 
school building, an excellent court-house, a supply of the 
purest artesian water, railroad and river communication, 
and has a very fine trade with the country near by. 


W^ayne county, when reduced to its present dimensions, 
was long regarded as one of the poorest counties in the 
State. It had neither court-house nor jail in 1850, nor was 
it able to support a single school.* There were in it at 
that time, according to White, a few poor people who lived 
at long distances from each other and raised a few cattle 
and some sheep, and lived with the aid of their guns and 

* White. 

290 The Story of Georgia [Chap. VI.. 

In 1 8 10 there were in the then large county 422 free- 
and 554 slaves; in 1830, 687 free and 276 slaves; and in. 
1850, 1,093 ^ree and 406 slaves. Since then the county 
has been reduced in size, but the population in 1890 was 
7,485. The railways had then passed through the county,, 
and mills, turpentine farms and flourishing towns had fol- 
lowed; and, while for many years there was no part of the 
State so destitute of religious or educational advantages, 
under the new order of things the country became well fur- 
nished with schools and churches. The new methods of 
farm culture have developed what was apparently hopeless, 
sterility into moderate productiveness. 


Telfair was formed from Wilkinson in 1807, and named 
for Edward Telfair. We have, in our account of Mont- 
gomery county, drawn a picture of Telfair. In all this 
region known as the pine-barrens there was so much general 
resemblance, that the impression that there was no differ- 
ence in land where pine trees grew was a common one with 
those who did not know better; but this was quite an error 
The great pine belt was in that geological formation known 
as Quaternary, and a small part in what was known in.. 
Georgia as the rotten limestone country and by the old 
geologists as the Tertiary, where there are many fossils. 
Much of the pine land near the coast consisted of barren 
sand dunes, and is now, and probably always will be, worth- 
less, and much that might have produced well is too flat for 
drainage; but in Montgomery and Telfair and the adjoin- 
ing counties there is a large body of pine land high and 
dry, with a good foundation of yellow clay, where the water 
is pure and free from lime. This land is not naturally 
fertile, and when manured does not hold its fertility; but 
by liberal fertilizing it can be made to produce largely. 
The Scotch immigrants of America (Scotchmen from. 


AND THE Georgia People. * 291 

North Carolina) saw the worth of these lands, and, as they 
cost but a trifle, they secured large bodies of them and 
built up good homes. Much of this land, however, was not 
taken up by home-seekers, but by speculators who secured 
the titles to it for a very small price. It was thought to be 
worthless; and many of those who drew lots would not pay 
the five-dollar fee demanded for a plot and grant. The 
speculators took this reverted land for the price of the war- 
rant, and secured the title. They then put the lands on the 
market. There were not a few lots which were held under 
forged deeds, and innocent people were inveigled into the 
purchase of lands which were worthless, or for which the 
seller had no title. A company of Maine lumbermen, who 
thought they saw large possibilities in lumbering in Georgia 
and in working up the pine forests of the South, bought 
from the real owners who had bought them from the State, 
for an insignificant sum, many thousand acres of land in 
Telfair and the adjoining counties. They paid for the land, 
and received good titles to it. They built large sawmills 
on the Ocmulgee river, and founded a city which was 
called Lumber City. The venture was not successful, and 
they abandoned the country. They held to their deeds, 
however, and paid the trifling taxes which were demanded. 
The mills rotted down. The lands were unoccupied, and 
were taken possession of, in many cases, by land thieves. 
They sold the lots to bona-fide purchasers and gave bogus 
titles. In some cases the lots were sold for taxes and 
bought in good faith; and, in blissful ignorance that the 
Maine company existed, these simple-hearted purchasers 
took possession of the lands and improved them. They 
never dreamed that the Maine company had any successor 
or representatives. For decades of years matters went on 
in this way, until after the war, when the great lumber firm 
of W. E. Dodge & Co. appeared on the scene and presented 
titles to the land, which were recognized as good, and pre- 

292 ' The Story of Georgia [Chap. vi. 

sented tax receipts which showed that the tax sales had 
been illegal. They demanded that the owners should vacate 
their holdings. There was much litigation, and men were 
ejected from their homes by violence, and in turn there 
was murder and lawless proceedings against the agents of 
strangers. The courts came in; false titles were exposed, 
and blood-stained criminals were punished by lifelong 
imprisonment in distant prisons. There was, of course, a 
great deal of the county not involved in these troubles, and 
the railways opened it up; the turpentine and lumber men 
came in, and few sections of the State have developed so 
rapidly as this section of the once despised pine-barren of 

The lots of land were large — 490 acres in a lot, and a lot 
of land was often sold for twenty dollars. The result was 
the securing of large bodies of land by comparatively poor 
men, who relied upon the wild pastures for feeding their 
cattle, and upon a small area of well-fertilized land for 
their breadstuffs. 

Montgomery, Telfair and Tattnall were all peopled in the 
main by thrifty Scotch people, and cattle- and sheep-raising 
was the great industry. And in no part of Georgia was 
there a better type of people than in these pine forests. 
These people had the virtues and the vices of the Scotch. 
They were clannish and somewhat narrow, and many of 
them were too fond of whisky; but they were plain and 
honest, and shrewd and religious. The school was found 
in every section; but the county was thinly peopled, and 
kirks of their fatherland were few and often remote, and so 
many of the Scotch Presbyterians became Methodists and 
Baptists. The Methodists had missionaries and camp-meet- 
ings and organized churches among them at an early day, 
and built up quite a church from the descendants of the 

The population of Telfair in 18 10 was only 526 whites 


and 288 slaves; in 1820 it was 1,571 whites and 561 slaves. 
Twenty years later it was 2,396 whites and 831 slaves. 
These slaves were almost entirely confined to a few planta- 
tions on the river, where there was sometimes a large num- 
ber, amounting to scores, on a plantation. 

The first settlers were: Jos. Williams, A. Grahain, D. 
Graham, John Wilcox, Thos. Wilcox, G. Mizell, A. Mc- 
Leod, Robert Boyd, Moses Rountree, James Mooney, 
Wright Ryall, McDuffie, J. A. Rogers, N. Ashley, C. Ash- 
ley, John Coffee, W. Ashley, A. Brewer, J. Herbert, S. 
Herbert, J. MacCrea, Duncan MacCrea, O. Butler, Lachlin 

Of these the Ashleys, Coffees, Brewers and Rogers were 
English, and had large plantations on the river. The others 
were pure Scotch. 

The Southern railway passes through Telfair and the 
steamboats ply the river. 

The people of Telfair always valued education, and the 
country school was in every neighborhood from the first 
settlement. They were, however, a poor, plain people and 
were content with the elements of an English education; 
but as the railroad came the desire for better culture was 
developed, and high schools were established, and in Mc- 
Rae there is a collegiate institute known as the South 
Georgia College, which is quite a flourishing school and is 
doing much for higher education. 


The immense count}'' of Montgomery was divided in 
1 80 1 and a new county was made. Josiah Tattnall, the 
patriot son of the staunch old Loyalist, had been governor 
and his health had given way. It was evident that death 
was not far away, and he resigned his seat and fled to the 
West Indies. In delicate compliment to him the new 
county was called Tattnall. 

294 The Story of Gteorgia [Chap, VI. 

There were in it in 1810, scattered over a large area, 
one thousand five hundred and twenty-four white people, 
and five hundred and twenty-four negroes. The Altamaha 
was on its southern and western border, and there were 
some large plantations on it, and the negroes were probably 
found on a few estates. 

The first settlers, as given by White, were : Ezekiel 
Clifton, Ezekiel Stafford, Henry Holland, Stephen Mat- 
tock, Wm. Coleman, Wm. Eason, George Lewis, Joseph 
Collins, Nathan Brewton, Moses Jernigan, Jones Temples, 
B. Stripling, A. Daniel, Jno. Mattox, Step. Bowen7~~E. 
Bowen, A. McLeod, John McFarland, James Turner, James 
Jones, M. Jones, Jesse Collins, David Boyd, Allen Johnson, 
Elisha Parker, Elisha Curl, James Tillman, Dan'l Highsmith, 
Jno. McArthur, Alex. Gordon, John Jones, Joshua Dasher, 
Reuben Nails, Luke Sapp, Benjamin Sapp, John and Grove 
Sharp, Levi Bowen, Lewis Strickland, John Anderson, 
James Underwood and John Dukes. 

The students of this list will be able to pick out sundry 
Scotch names from it, but the bulk of the people were of 
English and American origin. 

The lands, save on the river, were purely pine woods, 
and like those of Montgomery, were valued for their pas- 
turage alone, and although the landholders had much land, 
they lived irl a very simple way. 

For thirty years there was no fixed place for a court- 
house, and it was 1832 before Reidville was fixed on as a 
county site. 

The county was very thinly settled, and being so remote 
from markets and so isolated, it was largely dependent on 
its own resources, and perhaps no people were more pros- 
perous and independent. 

The railroad which came through the pine woods to 
Brunswick did not pass through Tattnall, but the Central 
and the Savannah, Americus and Montgomery railroads 

1800-1812.] AND THE GEORGIA PeOPLE. -295 

eventually reached it, and now the county has good railroad 
facilities and has rapidly improved. 

The immense pine forests have been a source of large 
revenue for years and are still richly productive. There is 
but little to differentiate this county from that of Mont- 
gomery, from which it was taken, and in describing Mont- 
gomery and its people we have described Tattnall. 

The Baptists and Methodists have been the ruling Chris- 
tian denominations, and the Methodists have had a camp- 
ground here for over sixty years. 

There has always been some attention paid to education, 
and the county had an incorporated academy at an early 
day, but education, except by a few families of large means, 
was for a long time sadly neglected. 

The county is one of the best of the pine woods counties 
and is being rapidly developed. The Altamaha river is its 
southern boundary, and, being always navigable, it has given 
the lower part of the county easy access to Darien, and 
there has been considerable trade in lumber and cotton, and 
of late years in naval stores. 

296 The Story of Georgia [Chap. vil. 


I813 TO 1820. 

Peter Early — William Rabun — Matthew Talbot — Great Increase in Produc- 
tion — Advance in Population — First Steamboat Line — Improvement of Riv- 
ers — First Transatlantic Steamship — Roads — Character of the Productions 
of the State — Inflation — Change Bills — New Banks — Bank of Darien — 
Academies — Religious Progress — Social Conditions — The Low-Country Peo- 
ple — The Low-Country Slaves — Life among the Cotton-Planters — Drinking 
Habits — The Cross-Roads Whisky Shop — The Georgia Yeomanry — The 
Georgia Cracker and his Origin — Trouble with the Creeks — Massacre of 
Friendly Indians — Political Antagonisms — Newspapers in Georgia — New 
Counties — General Description of the Mountaineers — The Hill Country and 
its People — The Piny Woods Counties and the People — Emanuel — Irwin — 
Appling — Early — Walton — Habersham — Rabun. 

Authorities as in last Chapter, with the addition of Andrews's Reminiscences of 
a Georgia Lawyer, Clarke & Mitchell Pamphlet (very rare), Lamar's Com- 
pilation of Georgia Laws, and the newspapers of the period. 

Judge Peter Early succeeded Governor Mitchell as gov- 
ernor in 18 1 3. He was one of the illustrious family of 
Virginia Earlys who had descended from an Irish immigrant 
who came to Virginia in 1661. His father was Joel Early, 
an eccentric Virginia gentleman who settled a large manor 
on the Oconee river in what is now Greene county. The 
father was a man of culture and gave his son the best ad- 
vantages the country afforded, and he was graduated at 
Washington College, in Virginia. 

He studied law and was soon made a judge. He was a 
man of fine attainments and strictest integrity. As we have 
seen, he vetoed the bill to extend the stay law, and it 
was passed over his veto, and when he offered for governor 
at the end of his first term he was defeated by Governor 
Mitchell, who, for the third time, was chosen governor. 
He was disgusted at this treatment and returned to the se- 

1813-1820.] AND THE GEORGIA PeOPLE. 297 

elusion of his country home in upper Greene, but his fellow 
citizens insisted on his accepting office again, and he was 
chosen State senator. While holding this office he died. 

Governor Mitchell, of whom we have already heard, who 
was now elected to take Governor Early's place, did not 
serve out his term of office, but resigned to take the posi- 
tion of Indian agent. 

William Rabun was president of the Senate and became 
ex officio governor. Governor Rabun was born in North 
Carolina, and his father removed to Georgia while he was 
but a lad and settled first in Wilkes and then in Hancock 
county. The governor had few educational advantages, 
but was a man of fine sense, a laborious student and a man 
of highest character. He had been for years a member of 
the State Legislature, and was president of the Senate 
when Governor Mitchell resigned. He was elected to suc- 
ceed himself, and while in office, in the vigor of his man- 
hood, he died. 

Matthew Talbot, at the time of Governor Rabun's death, 
was president of the Senate, and succeeded to the office of 
governor. At the election John Clarke was chosen as 

Governor Talbot was a native of Virginia, a son of John 
Talbot, one of the early immigrants to Wilkes county. 
He settled in this county, but afterward removed to Ogle- 
thorpe. He was a member of the Assembly for a consid- 
able number of years, and president of the Senate from 
l8i8 to 1823. He was a leading man in the Clarke party, 
and came within two votes of being elected governor over 
George M. Troup. His character for probity and strong 
common sense was very high. He was succeeded by Gen- 
eral John Clarke, of whom I shall speak in the next chapter, 
at the close of the period now under survey. 

During this period Georgia was rapidly developing. 
There was then no part of the State in which the lands 

298 The Story of Georgia [Chap. Vil. 

were worn out, and into the first counties there was a con- 
stant immigration and a rapid increase in population. The 
multiplication of cotton-gins and the demand for cotton 
abroad had given a great impetus to cotton-growing. The 
embargo and the non-intercourse acts and the disturbances 
resulting from the Napoleonic wars had almost put an end 
to cotton production for some years, but now that the war 
was over the demand was lively. 

The list of exports from the Georgia ports were: 1810, 
$2,557,225; 1811, $1,066,703; 1812, gi, 094,595; 1813. 
;g2,i47,449; 1814, $4,146,057; 1815, $7,436,692; 1816, 
$8,530,831; 1817, $10,977,051; 1819, $6,525,011. 

The population, which in 1790 was 82,000, in 18 10 was 
252,000, and in 1820, 340,947. With this growth in popu- 
lation and in commerce, the question of transportation 
became a very important one. The rivers into the interior 
offered the best facilities within reach of the people for 
moving produce, and after the introduction of steamboats, 
where the water was deep enough to float them, they were 
brought into general use. In 18 14 Samuel Howard of 
Savannah received a charter for a line of steamboats, and a 
little later a large company was chartered to put a line of 
boats on the Altamaha and Savannah route. A great deal 
of freight was carried by the flatboats on the various rivers 
beyond the limits of steamboat navigation. The State made 
sundry appropriations for cleaning out the smaller rivers, 
and even the larger creeks, in order to make them navi- 
gable for steam and flatboats. Some adventurous Savannah 
merchants deserve to be immortalized for leading in the 
great work of transatlantic steam traffic. They were Wm. 
Scarboro, A. B. Fannin, I. P. McKinnie, Samuel Howard, 
Charles Howard, John Haslett, Moses Rodgers, A. S. Bul- 
loch, John Bogue, Andrew Low & Co., Robert Isaacs, I. 
Minis, S. C. Drummond, J. P. Henry, John Speakenan, Rob- 
ert Mitchell, R. & Q. Habersham, John S. Bulloch, Gideon 


AND THE Georgia People. 299 

Pott, W. S. Gillette and Samuel Yates, who formed the 
Savannah Steamship Company, and who had built for them 
the first steamship which ever crossed the Atlantic ocean. 
The ship was named Savannah, and sailed from Savannah 
for Liverpool in 1819. 

The roads were wretched. All the repairs upon them 
were made by a contribution of labor levied on the people 
living near the roads, which was paid during the summer- 
time when there was a rest from farm work. There was no 
art of road-building known to them, and when the rains 
began in the fall and winter and the heavy loads of cotton 
were conveyed to market and goods were brought from it, 
the highways became almost impassable. Augusta was the 
point to which the cotton from Middle Georgia and the 
produce from upper Georgia were sent, and the roads 
through the hill country of Middle Georgia were in an 
execrable condition during the entire busy season; and the 
roads to Savannah were almost as bad. It was a matter of 
serious concern, after the crops were made, as to how they 
could be marketed. 

The agricultural interests of all parts of the State were 
rapidly advancing. The rice culture of the coast was now 
very profitable, and the rice-planter had none of the diffi- 
culties to encounter which his up-country fellow citizen met 
with; and the sea-island cotton-planter was as fortunate. 
The produce of the pine woods was almost entirely cattle, 
which could be driven, or ranging timber, which could be 
floated to market. The up-country people sent very little 
produce to market except cattle and whisky, but the middle 
belt was seriously embarrassed to get its main crop — cotton 
— to market. 

The cotton machines had now taken the name of gins, 
and were becoming quite common in the middle counties 
of the State. They were not at this period, as in after 
time, owned by the planters themselves, but were set up by 

300 The Story of Georgia [Chap, vil 

the merchants in the small county towns, who took the 
cotton in the seed, ginned it and sent it to market packed 
in round bales, which were of about three hundred pounds 
weight. The cotton-screw and cotton-press were as yet un- 
known. From Elbert, Wilkes and Lincoln a considerable 
quantity of cotton was sent by flatboats to Augusta; but 
even from those counties in which there was access to the 
river much of it was sent in wagons to the same market. 

The demand for labor to make cotton caused a great 
influx of negroes, who were brought out by the negro 
traders in large numbers. From 1815, and for over twenty 
years thereafter, there was great activity in all circles and 
much inflation. Land was cheap, selling at from one dollar 
to two dollars per acre. Cotton was from seventeen to 
twenty cents per pound; and men bought plantations in 
Morgan, Jasper and Jones, and paid for them with the pro- 
ceeds of one crop. 

Money was necessary to meet the demands of these busy 
days; and as there was not sufficient specie, and as neither 
the State banks nor the United States bank met the demand 
for small currency, change-bills called "shinplasters " were 
used. These grew to be such a nuisance that the Legisla- 
ture adopted the same method to suppress the floating of 
them that the United States adopted to suppress the issue 
of State banks: it taxed the "shinplasters" 25 per cent. 
The Planters Bank had been chartered in 18 10, the Bank 
of Augusta at the same time. In each of these the State 
had a block of stock. The Bank of the State of Georgia 
was chartered in 181 5, and the Bank of Darien in 18 18. 
The latter was largely owned by the State, and the Legis- 
lature agreed to guarantee the redemption of the notes.. 
The bank was to have its nominal home in Darien, but an 
office for discount was to be in Milledgeville, and it was to 
have branches in all parts of the State. At Darien, Mil- 
ledgeville, Dublin, Clinton, Watkinsville, Hartford, Macon,. 


AND THE Georgia People. 301 

Greensboro, Columbia C. H. (or Appling), Eatonton, Mon- 
ticello, Madison, Sparta, Sandersville and Lincolnton stock 
was to be subscribed for. The State was to own a majority 
of the stock, and it was to be a State depository. 

The efforts to open manufacturing establishments had 
not been successful, and so a charter was granted for a lot- 
tery, whose profits were to be applied to the building of a 
woolen factory in the up-country. 

There was a good deal of interest taken in the educa- 
tion of the higher classes. Academies were chartered in 
all the principal towns, and each received a stipend from 
the State. The academies at Sunbury, Augusta, Washing- 
ton, Waynesboro, Greensboro and Savannah, which had 
been long established, were now flourishing, and during 
this period academies were incorporated in Powelton, Mad- 
ison, Monticello, Eatonton, Warrenton, Elberton, Sardis, 
Hillsboro, Dublin, Jeffersonton, and in the counties of Mc- 
intosh, Jackson, Jasper and Camden. 

Some of these academies, as they were called, were 
merely ordinary schools in which the English branches 
alone were taught; but in most of the villages the elements 
of a classical training were given. The Mt. Enon Acad- 
emy, founded by the Baptists, had suspended, and the col- 
lege at Athens was sadly crippled by the war and was still 
not flourishing. 

The masses were only provided for by what was known 
as old field schools. There was no provision made by the 
State up to this period for the establishment of free 
schools, and those who were not near enough to the acad- 
emies to attend them were largely without any school facil- 
ities at all. This was the case even in the older counties, 
while in the newer there was almost an entire absence of 
any provision for even primary education. The old field 
school was not much changed from what it had been twenty 

302 The Story of Georgia [Chap. vil. 

years before, and it underwent little change for twenty- 
years after this. 

The great religious interest which had continued from 
1800 to 18 1 2 had somewhat lost its vigor, but still the ad- 
vance of the leading churches was steady, if not rapid. 
The evangelical preachers still went with the new settle- 
ments, but their number was too few to do more than give 
a very unsatisfactory service. 

In my sketch of the counties and in the special chapter 
devoted to the subject, I have endeavored to give a fuller 
account of the religious movements of the period than I 
can give in this summary. 

The Baptists and Methodists were now the leading de- 
nominations in middle and southern Georgia; but the Pres- 
byterians were influential and wealthy. The Baptists had 
a high school in Powelton and the Presbyterians one at 
Mt. Zion. 

The Methodists were steadily growing, especially through 
the agency of the camp-meetings, which were now held in 
every county. In the older counties there were log 
churches in the country for the Baptists, Methodists and 
Presbyterians, and in some of the towns there were plain 
frame churches, but in most of the county towns there 
were no churches of any denomination. Except in Eben- 
ezer, Savannah, Augusta, Milledgeville, Midway and Mount 
Zion, there was preaching only once a month in any church. 

During this period there was, as far as I can discover, but 
one Sunday-school in the State and that was in Lincoln 
county at a church called Pine Grove, and it has had a con- 
tinued existence to the present time without a break. 

Camp-meetings were very necessary and were very need- 
ful in those days. They were not confined to the Method- 
ists alone, but were held also by the Presbyterians and 

As yet society in new Georgia had most of tiie features 

1813-1820.] AND THE GEORGIA PeOPLE. 303 

which belong to all newly settled countries. The houses 
were still in the main of logs, and most of the people very 
plain in their style of living. Nearly all the people of 
family owned their homesteads, and while many of them 
were in humble circumstances, they were very independent. 

The farms at this time were generally small, not over 
two hundred acres, and there were many more separate 
homesteads in 1820 than there were twenty years after that 
date, and after 1840 the number decreased with fearful 

Washington, Warrenton, Sandersville, Eatonton, Madi- 
son, Monticello and Sparta were towns of considerable 
trade. At that time a few merchants carried very large 
stocks of all kinds of goods, which were sold on twelve 
months' time, and generally at one hundred per cent, above 
cost. The merchant went to market twice a year. A few 
went to New York, the larger number went to Charleston^ 
and many went no farther than Augusta. Here they bought 
dry-goods and hardware. Groceries were generally purch- 
ased in Augusta. The goods bought in New York were 
generally shipped by sailing vessels to Savannah, and thence 
boated up the river to the nearest point to the wagon-train. 
There were regular wagon-trains to Baltimore and Phila- 

There were few stores in which liquor was not sold. The 
profits were very large and the risks very great. The laws 
for the collectien of debts were very severe. Men were 
sold out relentlessly by the sheriff, and imprisoned for debt 
when they could not or would not pay. Absconding debt- 
ors were frequent, and to run away between two days was 
a common thing. Fortunes were being rapidly made dur- 
ing this period. Men who came to Georgia in the first of 
the century with a few negroes, who bought land at one 
dollar an acre, now found their slaves largely increased in 
number and their land worth tenfold its cost. Men who- 

304 The Story of Georgia [Chap. Vll. 

had taken a headright in the latter part of the old century, 
and who were poor and illiterate, had now become owners 
of large plantations. They were, many of them, unable to 
read or write, but they knew how to make cotton. 

Extravagance and luxury was at a discount; simplicity 
and plainness at a high premium. 

The people of middle Georgia were no longer frontiers- 
men. Even the newly settled counties had none of the 
rugged features of the frontier, but they were still unlike 
their low-country fellow citizens. 

The coast had been settled for near a hundred years be- 
fore this epoch. The planters had constant intercourse 
with the city. The wealthy among them were very wealth- 
thy, and the poor very poor They had no middle class. 
The up-country people had no intercourse with their low- 
country fellow citizens. They were alike Georgians. Their 
ancestors came from the same parts of Europe, but pecu- 
liar environments had affected each class; and there was as 
much difference between the sturdy farmer of Greene and 
Hancock and the rice-planter of Liberty, as between a 
sturdy Irishman and a canny Scotchman. In many re- 
spects the Yorkshire man and the cockney differed no 
more in their vernacular than the up-country rustic and the 
low-country planter. Their manners were as different as 
. their pronunciation. The up-country man was brusque, 
independent and unconventional; the low-country man fas- 
tidious, considerate and mild-mannered. These people did 
not coalesce when they came together. 

The social life of Georgia had now taken the features 
which it wore for many years afterward, and at the risk of 
some repetition I ought now to portray these different 
types of Georgians with some care. 

The low-country people in many cases were large slave- 
holders. They lived on their plantations during the winter 


AND THE Georgia People. 305 

and at their city homes, or homes on the islands, during 
the summer. 

The planters and their families were generally people of 
finished manners, of good culture and of literary taste. 
They were very exclusive in their social relations and dis- 
tant to strangers, but exceedingly genial to those admitted 
into the charmed circle. Their houses were airy and com- 
fortable. Generally they were of one story, with very 
wide verandas and roomy halls. Their tables were well 
laden with the products of their own fields, and when near 
the coast, with fish and oysters. There was careful atten- 
tion given to table furnishing, and silver fifty years old, 
and china which had been imported by the Savannah mer- 
chants from Hongkong, were brought out whenever there 
were guests. 

The best periodicals, of which there were few in Amer- 
ica, came to their homes, and the best books of the old 
English writers were on their shelves. Servants were well 
trained and were polite and attentive. The planter's wife 
and daughters had little to do except to see to the proper 
care of the little children or aged and helpless slaves, and 
entertain the guests who came at all hours. 

The rice-planter and the sea-island planter were active, 
money-loving, energetic men. They were sometimes men 
of broad culture, like Mr. Cooper or Mr. Spalding, who 
lived among their books, and sometimes men of pleasure 
who followed the hounds with a sportsman's zest; but gen- 
erally they were intent on the one point of building up the 
fortunes of the family. They had generally large increase 
every year in their negro property. Their cattle multiplied 
in large numbers. They had unbounded credit with their 
factors. They were generally Episcopalians in religion, 
except in Liberty, and while Democrats in their political 
faith, were socially aristocrats in feeling and manner. They 


306 The Story of Georgia [Chap. Vll^ 

were men of a high sense of honor, guileless and unsuspi- 
cious, true husbands, good masters, delightful friends; not. 
always temperate, and always ready to fight. 

The negroes on the rice-fields and on the sea islands did 
not differ from each other; and while to those who had 
never known them they seemed unhappy savages, they 
were the best satisfied laborers on earth. This negro was 
but one remove from the African savage. He revered his 
master as a prince royal and his mistress as a queen, and. 
dreaded the overseer, and especially the black driver, with 
a holy dread. As yet but little intelligent effort had been, 
made to Christianize him. The traditions, the folk-lore, 
the superstitions his father had brought with him from. 
Africa, he still held to. He had his fetish and feared with 
holy fear the conjurer or hoodoo. He had no world beyond, 
the island on which he made cotton, or the quarter of the: 
rice plantation where he had his cabin. 

The rich and poor whites living in this section of Geor- 
gia had drifted farther and farther apart. The overseer 
was the trusted employee of the planter, and his family was- 
treated with great kindness and respect by the ladies of the- 
big house; but there was no social intercourse. 

The life of the planter of Burke, Jefferson, Wilkes, Co- 
lumbia and other middle Georgia counties was like and yet 
unlike that of the rice-planter or sea-islander. This 
Georgian was an American of long descent. His ancestors 
were Virginians; he had the proudest blood of America and 
England in his veins, but he was disposed to ignore that 
fact, and boasted of his contempt for such claims. 

The middle Georgia planter had in most cases made his 
fortune, and, as he was generally from Virginia, enjoyed it 
in a Virginia way. He had come to Georgia thirty years 
before, and for a considerable time had lived in his log 
cabin on the frontier, where the angry Creeks threatened. 
the settlements with their raids. He had ridden with. 


AND THE Georgia People. 307 

Clarke and Irwin in pursuit of the robber horde, and housed 
his family in the blockhouse on Fort creek while he and 
his slaves made corn on the rich bottoms of Shoulderbone, 
But the Indians had been long gone; the war for free trade 
and sailors' rights was over; the cotton-gin had been set 
up; and wealth had poured in upon him. So he built his 
great square house with eight rooms twenty feet square, 
with broad piazza and wide halls. He bought a gig for his 
wife, and sent his sons to Dr. Waddell and his daughters to 
Mrs. Dugas to school. His fields were broad; his slaves 
were many; his flocks of sheep and goats were large, and 
his cattle were in great herds. His hogs were numerous, 
and, alas! his still turned the produce of his orchard into 
peach and apple brandy, which he always kept on his side- 
board. He was a just master. He gave his negroes a peck 
of meal and three pounds and a half of bacon a week, and 
in after years a quart of muscovado molasses in addition. 
His negroes also had their three suits of clothing and a 
stout pair of shoes every year. He gave them their holi- 
days on every Sunday and on Christmas week The old 
planter generally dressed in homespun, and counted no man 
his better. 

The good women of middle Georgia society at this 
period and for twenty years afterward were the best and 
busiest of their kind. They had married in the early years 
of the century, and had known but little of the school- 
teacher and had never seen a dancing'-master. Reachinsf 
womanhood before they ever saw a town or city, they had 
the simple, genial manners learned from their old Virginia 
mothers. They had culture, but it had not come from 
books. They knew all kinds of domestic work; they could 
weave and spin and knit, and, if need be, cook and wash; 
but they had too much to do to attend to these homely 
duties themselves. They saw to the welfare of the negroes, 
especially the ailing women and the little children. They 

308 The Story of Georgia [Chap. vil. 

knew the virtues of boneset and sage and catnip; they 
could dress a blister or make a poultice or bind a bandage 
with the skill of a physician. These matrons led busy lives; 
to see to the making up of negro clothing; to see after the 
kitchen garden and the flower garden; to go to week-day 
meetings and to get ready for camp-meeting; to spread a 
generous table every day, and especially when Brother 
Pierce or Brother Mercer or Dr. Cunningham came — kept 
them constantly employed. They were proud of their Vir- 
ginia lineage, and spoke of the old commonwealth as if no 
spot on earth could ever be like that. They had read no 
books but the Bible and "The Pilgrim's Progress," and pos- 
sibly "Charlotte Temple" or "Alonzo and Melissa"; took no 
magazines, and had no fashion plates. Their carpets were 
made of rags; and they had cut the rags themselves, and 
had them woven by their own trusted weavers. Their house- 
hold furniture was plain; but the splint-bottomed chairs 
were immaculately white, and the beds were covered with 
the snowy white counterpanes in summer and the red or 
blue-check counterpanes in winter, woven by their own 
handmaidens. They ruled their households with a kindly 
rule, and the old squires bowed submissively to their man- 

The hardships of the frontier, by 1820, were left behind 
in all the older counties, and wealth and plenty was in the 
land. The lavish living of the old Virginian was repro- 
duced in all parts of middle Georgia. 

The home of Ralph Banks still stands in Elbert county, 
where it was built by his own carpenters nearly seventy- 
five years ago. It has fourteen large rooms above ground, 
cellars beneath. The inventory of his estate shows scores 
of slaves, thousands of acres of land, horses, sheep, cattle, 
goats, wheat, oats, barley, and, alas! good Methodist as he 
was, one hundred gallons of peach brandy, sundry barrels 
of hard cider and a barrel of wine. On the estate all the 

1813-1820.] AND THE GEORGIA PeOPLE. 309 

clothing was woven by hand; the leather was made by the 
planter's own tanner, and the shoes by his shoemaker. 

It must be admitted that in the early part of the century 
there were stills on most of the large plantations, and that 
apples and peaches, which were produced in great quanti- 
ties, were turned into brandy, which was to be drunk mod- 
erately and thankfully. Everybody drank in those days, 
except a few very strict Methodists. On every sideboard 
there was a decanter, and the host invited each guest to 
help himself — which he generally did, sometimes asking a 
blessing from heaven on this good creature now provided. 
No one was considered to be genuinely hospitable unless he 
passed the decanter. 

The picture I have just drawn is of the planter who 
belonged to the wealthy class; but these were by no means 
the majority of the people. There was still in all the older 
counties a much larger number of small farmers than of 
planters. Many of them had no negroes at all; a great 
many only a few. They owned land and live stock, and by 
hard work made an abundant living. They lived in great 
simplicity. Their cabins were still of logs, and were often- 
times the same which they built thirty years before, save 
that a few sheds had been added to the main room as 
the family increased, and that a kitchen and dining-room 
were in another cabin in the yard. These people were 
the Georgia yeomanry. They had but little education; 
many of them could not read, and but a few of them 
could write their names. They were not hirelings or 
tenants; they were proprietors, and were as proud and 
independent as if they had owned princely domains. As a 
body they were honest. Marriages were early, and children 
were many. They had but few luxuries; they worked hard 
and lived hard, but they had an abundance of plain food 
and cared for nothing more than their farms produced. 
They did not hesitate to take a dram on all proper occa- 

310 The Story of Georgia [Chap. VII. 

sions, and when they went to town they often came from 
it "disguised in liquor," which was a venial sin to be 
acknowledged at the next monthly meeting of the church. 
They had little intercourse with the rich people and the 
town folks, and were generally at dagger's point with the 
rich man's "niggers," who regarded them with great con- 
tempt and called them "poor buckra." They dressed in 
homespun fabrics, and many of them, men and women, went 
barefoot during the summer, except when they went to 
town or to meeting. 

These middle class people have been confounded with 
those below them who were known as "crackers"; but they 
were an entirely distinct class. It cannot be denied that 
scattered over Georgia there were to be found the unques- 
tionable "cracker" — the humblest of Georgians. He was 
not a yeoman, nor was he a landholder : when land was 
granted freely he would not pay ofifice fees; but rented 
or "squatted." He was lazy and shiftless; and, while he 
had not a few good qualities, he was rather a poor citi- 
zen. He seemed to have a fondness for poor land and 
whisky, and wherever there was a post-oak ridge he built 
his cabin there. He never had a comfort, nor ever cared 
for one; he had but little, and seemed to want but little. 
He was not proud of anything but his independence and 
his ignorance. He was but a reproduction of the humblest 
English laborer or Irish peasant, from whom he was de- 
scended. He had no aspiration, and rarely rose to a better 
place. He was not, by any means, only a Georgian, for 
his double was found in every section of the United States. 
The pioneer farmers were in appearance like "the poor 
white," the "moss-back," the "sand-lapper," the "cracker"; 
but it was in appearance only. The genesis of this race of 
"crackers" must be sought for beyond the seas, and his 
first American ancestor was likely a vagrant lad picked up 
in the English or Scotch seaport and brought over by a sea 

1813-1820.] • AND THE GEORGIA PeOPLE. 311 

■captain who sold him to a tobacco-planter for five years. 
When his time was out he began to move and his descend- 
ants have kept moving ever since. He was always found 
where there were new settlements, and where land was poor 
and life was hard. In many respects he has in igoo the 
same features which belonged to his class two hundred 
years ago; he has not degenerated — he has simply never 
advanced. Apparently he has disappeared; but start a 
cotton mill, or open a mine, or settle a new country, and 
he comes. He is scattered through the mountains, in the 
pine woods, or is now working at the poorest paid labor in 
the cotton mills. 

The Creek Indians were never reconciled to the cession 
of their lands, and were disposed to depredate on frontiers- 
men, and, through the agency of Ambrister and Arbuthnot, 
in 1818 the Seminole part of the Creeks rose against the 
whites, and General Andrew Jackson was sent to suppress 
them. The war was a short one; the Indians were quickly 
conquered; Ambrister and Arbuthnot were hanged, and a 
body of friendly Indians were cruelly massacred by some 
Georgia troops. The Seminoles were driven to east Florida, 
and for twenty years there was peace on the frontier. 

Political excitement ran very high between Clarke and 
Crawford, and was the more rancorous because the issues 
were personal rather than political. These parties were in 
the height of their antagonism, and the Clarke party had, 
just as this period closes, won a signal victory by electing 
John Clarke governor. The animosity felt toward him and 
his adherents was intense, and they paid it back with in- 

There were now in Georgia six newspapers: Augusta 
Chronicle, Savannah Republican, Washington News, Georgia 
yourjial {M\\\(tdgQv[\\Q), Savannah Georgian, and the Recorder 
(Milledgeville). These papers were about evenly divided 
between the two parties. It had not been a time for book- 

312 The Story of Georgia * [Chap. VII. 

making, and not a book (save a book of laws) had been 
published in the eight years. 

The war between England and the United States, to which 
we have alluded in the last chapter, did not for some time 
seriously involve Georgia. There was some little alarm 
felt on the coast, and a few troops were stationed in Savan- 
nah and St. Marys; but the restless Seminoles and bitter 
Creeks were on the war-path in both Southern Georgia and 
Alabama. A body of Georgia troops under the command 
of General John Floyd, who had come to Georgia a Vir- 
ginia ship-carpenter and acquired a large estate, and who 
was a man of real parts, marched into the Indian Nation 
beyond the Ocmulgee, near Columbus, Here he built 
Fort Mitchell, and, marching westward, fought the battle 
of Autosee, in which he was wounded. The general was the 
first man to march through the great Okefinokee swamp, 
where he cut a road known as Floyd's trail. He recovered 
from his wound, and was in command at the battle of Chal- 
libee, where the whites were again victorious. The war 
ended with the battle of New Orleans early in 1815. 

During this period the war with England and the war of 
the Creeks came to an end. 

By the treaty made by General Jackson with the Creeks 
all of the southern and southwestern parts of the State 
still held by the Creeks was surrendered to the State of 
Georgia; the Cherokees relinquished their control over a 
part of their country; and by a second treaty by ex-Gov- 
ernor Mitchell the Creeks surrendered their control over 
that country between the Ocmulgee and the Flint, which 
was afterward divided into Walton, Gwinnett, Hall, Haber- 
sham, Appling, Early, Irwin, Emanuel and Rabun counties. 

In giving an account of these new counties it may be 
best to divide them into groups. There were three kinds 
of country represented: The mountains, including Rabun 

1813-1820.] AND THE GEORGIA PeOPLE. 313 

and Habersham; the hill country of Gwinnett, Hall and Wal- 
ton; the pine woods of Emanuel, Early, Irwin and Appling. 

The mountain country of upper Georgia was largely 
occupied by the Cherokee Indians. Only two counties 
were now formed in this territory. The country was very 
wild and very sparsely settled. It was exceedingly rough, 
and the few inhabitants at that time were perhaps the most 
thriftless of the Georgia people. They had gone into the 
mountains, where they built log cabins of the most primi- 
tive sort, with dirt floors and leaky roofs. They planted 
some corn and had a few cows. The country was full of 
game, and they depended largely upon their skill with the 
rifle to secure food for their families. Clothing was hard 
to get and money they never had. 

The pioneer went once a year to the new town of Athens 
or Clarksville and traded his peltry for a little powder and 
lead, an axe and a hoe and some iron, and a little "spun 
truck," as he called cotton yarn, and went back to his 
mountain cabin to stay there for the year. 

During the summer life was not so hard. The crofter in 
Scotland, the peasant in Ireland and the English farm 
laborer, from whom in all likelihood the first mountaineers 
came, had in many respects a harder life than their Georgia 
descendants, for their woods were not full of game, nor did 
they have fuel furnished them without stint, nor had they 
as rich pasturage for their cattle. 

It cannot be denied that at this early day and for many 
years afterward, that not a few of the lonely denizens of 
these mountain coves were fugitives from the penalties of 
the law. In South Carolina, or North Carolina, or Ten- 
nessee, in a rough-and-tumble fight he had gouged out an 
eye, or bit off a nose, or mayhap have been guilty of some 
act more disreputable, and had fled to this lonely corner of 
a new State and hid away. 
. Sometimes the poor settler was averse to steady work 

314 The Story of Georgia [Chap. Vll. 

and sought to find some place where he could as far as 
possible live without it. In these wild mountains he lived 
as free as an Indian and had as few comforts. He had a 
little patch of corn and he pounded it in a mortar or made 
it into hominy. He went barefoot in summer and wore 
Indian moccasins in the winter. A coon skin made him a 
cap, and his wife wove the cotton cloth which he wore in 
summer and the jeans he wore in winter. He had no edu- 
cation. He could not read, his wife could not read, the 
peasant from whom he had descended could not read. He 
lived in the same kind of house his over-the-sea forefather 
had lived in, only the cottage of that peasant was made of 
stone and covered with peat and he paid rent for it, and 
the mountaineer paid no rent and lived in a cabin of poles 
covered with boards. He kept his hearth ablaze with 
wooden logs, while his progenitor hovered over a fire of 
peat. He had never known any other life than the lowly 
one he lived, and was satisfied with it. No landlord asked 
for rent, no tax-gatherer for taxes, and in those days not 
even an ofifice-seeker came near him. 

These were some of the first mountaineers but by no 
means all. There in the mountains were valleys idyllic in 
their beauty. They had been the home of the Indians, 
and when they vacated them, men of some culture, who 
had known something of society but who had become 
weary of the bustle of life, sought a secluded home here, 
and more frequently the bustling North Carolinian, landless 
and enterprising, led by the fertility of these valleys, built 
his cabin in one of them and planted his orchard. 

These mountaineers who eighty years ago and those who 
succeeded them for twenty years afterward were as distinct 
from other Georgians as the Scotch Highlanders were from 
their Lowland kinsman. They were not like the upper 
Georgia yeoman, the middle Georgia planter, or even the 
piny woods rustic. These were not themselves all alike, 


AND THE Georgia People. 315 

and a description of one person, however exact, would be 
entirely unsuited to another who lived near him. 

The same class of people who came into the mountains 
of upper Georgia settled in North Carolina, Tennessee, 
Kentucky and western Virginia. The north Georgia moun- 
taineer came generally from the mountainous parts of 
North Carolina, as the piny woods stock-raiser came from 
the pine woods of eastern North Carolina. 

As a rule the people were for many years poor and illit- 
erate. They were fearless, sensitive, prejudiced, but hos- 
pitable, kindly and sincere. They were not as a general 
thing enterprising, and seemed too content with privations 
which industry would have removed. At the time which 
this period covers there were all the discomforts of the 
earliest frontier, and everything was in its pristine wildness. 

The hill country of Walton, Gwinnett and Hall presents 
such uniformity of feature that it is difficult to give an 
account of any one of the counties without saying what 
was true of another adjoining. 

The country lies at the foothills of the Blue Ridge, and 
while none of it is remarkably fertile, it is nearly all arable. 
There are some rich valleys along the rivers and on the 
many creeks and branches, called in Georgia parlance 
" bottoms." 

The country produces corn, wheat, oats, rye, potatoes, 
cotton and tobacco; apples, peaches, pears, cherries and 
plums grow in great abundance. It is not, however, gen- 
erally a fertile country, and needs careful culture and gen- 
erous fertilizing in order to produce good harvests. 

The water is cool and the air pure. 

The rich cotton lands of middle and southern Georgia 
were more attractive to the Virginia slaveholders than 
these sections, and they turned their steps thither, and left 
all this country to people of small means who had few or 
.no slaves. I doubt if there was in all this section in 1820 

316 The Story of Georgia tChap. vii. 

a farmer worth twenty thousand dollars. Perhaps not one 
was worth half so much. Land was sold as a general 
thing for a dollar an acre, or less, except the exceptionally 
fine land on the rivers, which brought from two to five 

The people who settled here were mainly Carolinians, 
either from upper South Carolina or western North Caro- 
lina. They came from the hill country to the hill country. 
They were very plain and very simple in their lives and 
had very small estates; but were thoroughly independent 
and self-reliant. They were landowners and had their 
farms stocked and made a good livelihood, and while not 
generally people of culture, they believed in churches and 
schools, and though there was much ignorance and much 
drinking among them, there was much good sense and 
piety. As a class they filled the place between the middle 
Georgia planter and the ignorant mountaineer. There 
were many very poor and ignorant people among them, 
and the inimitable " Bill Arp " (Colonel Charles H. Smith) 
has drawn a picture of one so graphic that I transfer it to 
these pages as presenting in a more satisfactory way a pic- 
ture of a class of people who have been sadly misread by 
those who have merely caught a glimpse of them and noted 
their striking and peculiar traits. 

" So I did not rob Bill Arp of his good name. * * 
"He was a small, sinewy man, weighing about 130 
pounds, as active as a cat, as quick in movement as he was 
active, and always presenting a bright, cheerful face. He 
had an amiable disposition, a generous heart, and was as 
brave a man as nature makes. 

" He was an humble man and unlettered in books; never 
went to school but a month or two in his life, and could 
neither read nor write; but still he had more than his share 
of common sense, more than his share of ingenuity, and 


AND THE Georgia People. 317 

plan and contrivance, more than his share of good mother- 
wit and good humor, and was always welcome when he 
came about. 

" Lawyers and doctors and editors, and such gentlemen 
of leisure who used to, in the good old time, sit around and 
chat and have a good time, always said, ' Come in, Bill, 
and take a seat;' and Bill seemed grateful for the compli- 
ment, and with a conscious humility squatted on about half 
the chair and waited for questions. The bearing of the 
man was one of reverence for his superiors and thankful- 
ness for their notice." 

•J' *^ ^l' *if ^^ *if ^^ ^^ "if 

^* >f» *f» *Y* 'T* 'T* 'T* 1* 1^ 

There were, however, in these new counties not a few 
who were people of real culture and refinement, and who 
were led to fix their homes in them by the inducements 
which new settlements always hold out. They came to 
these new villages to teach school, practice law or mer- 
chandize, and oftentimes settled plantations on the rivers 
and creeks. The section was very rapidly filled up with a 
hardy, industrious, pushing people, and the county sites 
soon became thrifty villages. 

The lands were very hilly, light and easily washed away, 
and there was after the period of which we write the usual 
result of the culture of those times — desolate fields given 
up to broom-sedge and to scrubby pines; but this did not 
come until twenty years later. 

Those who came at first were generally people of very 
moderate means, but they were independent from the be- 
ginning. Religiously they were Baptists, Methodists or 
Presbyterians in their affiliations. Their creeds were short 
ones and they believed in them fully. The Bible, as they 
understood it, was the final arbiter on all questions. 

The picture I have given of the Georgia yeoman and 
the picture drawn by Colonel Smith of the Georgia cracker 

318 The Story of Georgia [Chap. vil. 

are, I am sure, correct portraitures of the two main classes 
of settlers in upper Georgia in i8i8. 

The picture we have had of the pine woods elsewhere 
belongs to this large section which now comes under sur- 
vey, and which was at this time opened for settlement, 
except a part of the county of Early. Great pine forests 
stretched from the Altamaha to the Chattahoochee, only 
broken into by a few hammocks and some river and creek 
swamps. Much of this pine land was too wet for culture, 
much of it a barren sand bed; but much of it only needed 
to be manured to make it productive. At that time all was 
regarded as hopelessly sterile and as only fitted for grazing 
land for some small black cattle, such as had been imported 
from the Highlands. The people who came into these pine 
woods in their earlier settlement were mainly from the 
eastern counties of North Carolina and Georgia and lower 
South .Carolina. The Scotchmen settled in Telfair and 
Montgomery, but descendants of Americans in Irwin and 
the counties springing from it. At first the newcomers 
were merely ranchmen. They lived at great distances from 
each other, and lived very plainly. In many respects they 
were like the better class of mountaineers; but they had 
fewer hardships to endure, owing to the greater mildness 
of the climate. Many of these people were of Scotch or 
Scotch-Irish ancestry, and many were descended from the 
Highlanders who came to Georgia near a hundred years 
before. The settler in the pine woods in 1820 lived almost 
entirely within himself. He had little to sell, and had far 
to go to market; and he knew nothing of foreign luxuries. 
He made some long-staple cotton; his wife and children 
picked out the seed with their fingers, and his wife spun it 
and wove it into cloth. His sheep furnished him with 
wool, and he made his own leather and his own shoes and 
his coonskin cap. He had no mill nearer to him, often, 
than forty miles, and no store nearer than Centerville in 


AND TUE Georgia People. 319 

Camden or Hartford in Pulaski; but he had a country 
where the climate was mild and where he could raise corn 
and potatoes and sugar-cane, and where deer and turkeys 
were so abundant that no skill was necessary to kill or cap- 
ture them. He had an abundance of hogs and cattle, and, 
while it was somewhat difificult to get salt to cure his meat, 
he had learned the art of jerking beef, and was not too par- 
ticular about a gamy flavor to his meat. He was a great 
hunter. The panther, which he called the "tiger," was 
still in the swamp, and the bear gave him trouble by seizing 
his pigs and ravaging his corn patches. The isolation and 
discomforts of this life, and the apparent sterility of the 
country, did not invite immigrants, and for years after this 
time the country was very sparsely settled. 

In this new country, though they had few schools and 
churches, yet the traditions of a religious people still influ- 
enced them, and, while they were not intelligently relig- 
ious, they were not grossly immoral. Unlike their up- 
country kinsmen, the piny woods "cracker" was not near 
a still, and was a long way from a drinking-shop; and, 
while he had no more objection to a drop of whisky than 
the mountaineer, he was less likely to drink to excess^ 
One of the largest of these new counties was called 


It was made in 1812, and named in honor of that staunch 
Maryland Whig, David Emanuel. It. comprised a large 
body of almost exclusively pine woods. There were a num- 
ber of streams running through it: the Ohoopee, the Canoo- 
chee and Ogeechee rivers and a number of large creeks. 
Though there were large swamps, the lands bordering the 
rivers were not arable, and there was no attention paid to 
agriculture. The one industry of the country when it was 
first settled was stock-raising. On account of its large size 
it was called the State of Emanuel. The first settlers were 

320 The Story of Georgua [Chap. vil. 

generally poor, but were able to make a good living, and 
were independent. They were of that class of piny woods 
people which occupied nearly all this section of the State, 
and whom we have so often described. 

The first settlers were, according to White: James Moon, 
Wm. Stephens, Henry Darden, George Roundtree, Richard 
Edinfield, M. Thigpen, A. Gardner, N. Rowland, E. Swain, 
James Tapley, John Small, James Hicks, Wm. Phillips, I. 
Sutton, E. Lane, B. Johnson, John Wiggins, P. Newton, 
Wm. Rowland, Wm. Norris, I. Norris, Wm. Douglas, S. 
Powell, John Rhiner, M. Curl, S. Kennedy, E. Coleman, 
D. E. Rich, E. Wilkes, S. Williamson, B. Keys, J. C. Sum- 

There was much about Emanuel and all these pine-barren 
counties to attract men of small property who loved a free 
and independent life. The first settlers were mainly cattle- 
rangers. In the latter days they were timber-rangers, send- 
ing their fine timber to the Savannah market. They spent 
the summer in hewing logs for their rafts, and in the winter 
floated them to the Ogeechee canal and to Savannah. They 
had few wants, and the money they received for their timber 
was, much of it, laid aside for future use. Next to timber 
the main resource was cattle- and sheep-raising. There 
were a little corn and sugar-cane and some oats raised; but 
the agricultural value of the lands was overlooked until the 
war ended and the commercial fertilizers were found suited 
to the land and cotton was cultivated to profit. The rail- 
roads penetrated the county in search of timber for the 
mills, and the turpentine farmer leased the land and bled 
the trees and set up his still. Emanuel then began to 
improve in every way, and has gone steadily forward until 
there are several flourishing towns in the county. 

For many years the only denominations of Christians 
were the Methodists and Primitive Baptists. 

1813-1820.] AND THE GEORGIA PEOPLE. 321 

Swainsboro and Stillmore and Adrian are thriving towns 
with good churches and good schools. 


The story of Emanuel is the story of Irwin, which was 
laid off in i8i8, and named in honor of Governor Jared 
Irwin. It was an immense county. 

The first settlers were: 

John Dormany, R. H. Dickson, M. McDuffee, L. Mob- 
ley, John Henderson, Thos. Bradford, Lott. Whiddon, 
Redding Hunter, John Joyce, Wm. Bradford, S. Griffin, 
James Wallace, James Allen, John Ford, Saul Story, Thos. 
Gibbes, John Gibbes, Wm. Frissell, J. C. Sumner. 

These first settlers were scattered over an immense area 
and the homes were far apart. As late as 1866 the writer, 
passing through this county, rode seventeen miles on the 
public road without seeing a single house. 

There were in 1820 only four hundred and eleven people 
in all this county, which then included Wilcox, Lowndes, 
Brooks, Thomas, Colquitt and Worth counties. The social 
condition of the people was for many years such as we have 
presented as that of the pine woods frontiersman. 

The railroads, however, passed through the county. Tur- 
pentine farms were opened, lumber mills erected and vil- 
lages sprang up, and in 1895 ^ large colony of Northern 
people, drawn by the climate and the possibilities of the 
county, founded a city called Fitzgerald in the heart of 
the pine-barrens. Farms were opened, railroads were built, 
manufactures started, and the young city is being peopled 
with a good class of settlers from the northwest and other 
parts of the country. 

The county was so thinly settled that for many years 
schools and churches were very few and the people were 
quite illiterate. They were, however, people of great sim- 


322 The Story of Georgia [Chap. vil. 

plicity of character and were sterling in their integrity. 
Few sections have developed more rapidly than Irwin and 
few give promise of greater development. 


The county of Appling which, when laid out, included in 
its boundary several very large counties, was laid out in 
i8i8, and was named in honor of Colonel Daniel Appling, 
a worthy citizen of Columbia county. 

The first settlers, as given by White, were : Nathan Dean,. 
John Taylor, Henry Taylor, Silas O. Quinn, Moses Vick, 
John Johnston, John Hawkins, J. Smith, D. Redish, D. 
Summerall, R. Strickland, Samuel Sellars, John Purvis, A. 
Eason, G. Moody, John Roberson, Jesse Carter, Samuel 
Carter, Thos. Wood, R. Swilley, S. Swilley, B. Grogan, the 
Mobleys, Halls, Overstreets, and Wilcoxes. 

It was almost an unbroken plain of pine forests. The 
Altamaha was on its northern and eastern border. There 
was some good land on this river and some large planta- 
tions were opened there by large slave-owners at an early 
day, but much of it was a wide, wild swamp, too low for 
cultivation, while away from it there was an unbroken pine 

There were some large cattle ranches and many sheep, 
but there was little attention paid to agriculture for many 
years. The people were sheep-raisers and cattle-men and 

The same story told of Irwin and Emanuel after the war 
is true of Appling. Railroads came, the lumber mill and 
turpentine still followed. Handsome towns sprang up and 
the population has largely increased. The first settlers in 
Appling were frontiersmen, and but little attention was paid 
to schools or churches. 

With the first opening of the country the Methodists 
sent Missionaries into these wilds and the Baptists came 


AND THE Georgia People. 323 

with the first settlers. The churches, however, were few 
and far apart, and the school advantages for many years 
exceedingly meager. 

The population of this county in 1820 was 1,264; '^ 
1830 there were 1,289 whites and 179 slaves; in 1850 there 
was a free population of 2,645 ^•"'^ 4^5 slaves. These slaves 
were confined to a few plantations on the banks of the Alta- 
maha. At the time this census was taken Appling covered 
the ground now occupied by a half-dozen counties. 

There was much of the county peopled by North Caro- 
linians, who were timber-rangers, but after the war a dif- 
ferent class of North Carolinians came in, who were tur- 
pentine distillers, and now there are in the county several 
thrifty towns along the railway. 


The other of these counties into which all of southern 
Georgia was divided in 18 18 was called Early in honor of 
Governor Early. It included a large part of southwestern 
Georgia, and, though a number of other counties have been 
carved from it, it is still a large county. 

Blakely was made the county site in 1826. 

The first settlers were, according to White: Isham Shef- 
field, Arthur Sheffield, West Sheffield, James Bush, John 
Hays, Jos. Grinsley, Richard Spain, Fink Porter, Jos. Boles, 
Jno. Rae, Abner Jones, Nathaniel Weaver, James Jones, S. 
V. Wilson, Jno. Dill, Alex Watson, James Carr, Jno. Tilley, 
Wm. Hendricks, John Floyd, D. Roberts, Andrew Bird, B. 
Collier, J. Fowler, Martin Wood, Geo. Mercier, W. Dixon, 
A. Hayes, James Brantley, and E. H. Hayes. 

These first settlers in Early were scattered over a wide 
area, which is now in several counties. The county of 
Early proper was slowly settled. 

There was along the banks of the Chattahoochee and its 
tributary creeks a great deal of rich cotton land of the rot- 

324 The Story of Georgia [Chap. vil. 

ten limestone formation, with forests of oak and hickory, 
but it was sickly and hard to open. 

The larger part of the county was pine woods, and it was 
settled by plain, poor people who raised cattle, but to these 
fine oak and hickory lands some eastern planters, as soon 
as the Indians were finally removed, came with many slaves. 
They were people of culture and wealth, and settled large 
plantations and lived in great elegance. Their homes were 
not far from the Chattahoochee river, and they had all the 
luxuries of the cities brought from Columbus and Apa- 
lachicola by the steamers which came weekly. 

The larger part of the population, however, was the same 
class of pine woods people we have seen elsewhere. Immi- 
grants came from the eastern counties in Georgia and from 
South Carolina and North Carolina. The pine lands of 
Early were more productive than the lands further east and 
there was more extensive planting. 

In the first days of the county the people had access to 
the outer world by the boats which went up and down the 

In 1850 there were as many negroes as whites in the 
county, but the negroes were almost entirely confined to 
one section of it, to the plantations on the river or on the 
creeks flowing into it. Some up-country people had their 
plantations in this county and spent their winters on them, 
but their homes were far away, but some of the wealthiest 
of the people lived in the county all the year round. 

The educational advantages of the people were not good. 
The wealthy had their private teachers and their children 
were taught at home until they were old enough to go from 
home to school. They were educated in the best schools 
of the South, and when they returned to their isolated 
homes they brought with them as visitors their friends and 
kinspeople and had a society of their own. In the summer- 


AND THE Georgia People. 325 

time and in the malarial season they sought the up-country 
or their piny woods retreat. 

The lands on the river and the creeks were very fertile, 
and a bale of cotton per acre was often produced. 

The churches were not many and were far apart, and for 
many years the ministers were poorly supported and were 
of inferior grade. After the war railroads were made, and 
the changes brought about were very marked in church and 
school matters. 

The wealthy planter whose great plantation was on the 
river had put all his earnings into young negroes whom he 
had brought up, and he had no money laid away. When 
his negroes were freed the bulk of his estate was gone. 
The plantation negroes were not willing to remain longer 
in the swamps, and left the plantation for the towns and for 
their old homes in the up-country and Carolina. The old 
planter found himself unable to cope with his difficulties, 
and abandoned his plantation and sought another home, or 
else, trying to recruit his shattered fortune, he mortgaged 
his land, bought mules and supplies on a credit, and when 
disaster to his crop came, as it did, he found himself a 

In the picture of the southwest Georgia planting country, 
which is found in the future chapters, the condition of 
things in that part of Early in which the planters made 
their homes is given. 


When the first effort was made to settle the Cherokee 
country in 1802 a new county was projected to be called 
Walton, and a bill was passed to lay it out. The act was 
never carried into effect, but in 181 8 a new county bearing 
the same name was provided for, and it was organized. 

White gives as the first settlers in this county : Charles 
Smith, R. M. Echols, P. Stroud, Jno. Dickerson, Warren J. 

326 The IStory of Georgia [Chap, VII. 

Hill, Jesse Arnold, Walter T. Colquitt, Jonas Hale, V. 
Haralson, J. M. Well, A. W. Wright, C. D. Davis, W. Bris- 
coe, R. Briscoe, R. Milligan and J. Richardson. 

The county was a very large one, and, in the main, not a 
fertile one. The larger part of the land was a light gray 
soil, moderately productive at first but soon exhausted. 
There were, however, some bottoms on the creeks and rivers 
which were very fertile. The climate was good, the coun- 
try healthy, the land cheap, and there soon came into this 
section a very large number of immigrants. Many of them 
had been the fortunate drawers of the lots of two hundred 
and fifty and one-half acres and were from other parts of 
Georgia, and many of them were from the upper part of 
South Carolina. 

So rapidly was the county peopled that in twelve years 
after it was opened for settlement there were nearly ten 
thousand people living in it. 

Land was sold in lots of two hundred and fifty acres and 
generally brought about one hundred dollars per lot, or less 
than fifty cents per acre. A lot sold at sheriff's sale brought 
five dollars and a quarter, another brought twenty-five 
dollars, but land on the rivers even as early as 1 821 brought 
seven dollars per acre. 

The first place at which court was held was the Cowpen, 
which was two miles from Monroe. 

Judge John M. Dooly held the court. As was universally 
the case in new counties the larger number of cases was for 
assaults. There were, however, bills for hog-stealing, per- 
jury, adultery and mayhem, and a group of men were 
charged with gambling at seven-up, three-up and faro. 

There was loud complaint against illicit liquor-selling 
where men sold less than a quart without license. 

One man was presented and finally punished for cruelly 
whipping his slave, and one was condemned to be hung for 
murder. He was, however, pardoned. 

1813-1820.] AND THE GEORGIA PeOPLE. 327 

While there were few people among the first settlers of 
Walton who were wealthy, and many quite poor, there was 
a large number of well-to-do people with from five to ten 
negroes and an abundance of cheap but productive land. 
To illustrate the general condition of the well-to-do people 
one estate shows: lO negroes, 33 hogs, 17 cattle, kitchen 
and household furniture, and, what was rare, forty-five dol- 
lars' worth of books, while some of the estates indicate 
abundant means. Theophilus Hill had 42 negroes, 22 
sheep, 350 barrels of corn, 12 beds and bedsteads, ^loo 
worth of hogs, 2 cotton-gins, etc. 

The bulk of the people had only their land and a small 
number of cattle, horses, hogs, and a scant supply of fur- 
niture. There was but little cotton and very little of any- 
thing was made for sale. Corn, hogs and cattle, as in all 
the new counties, were the products. The coming of new 
settlers into the county provided a market for the surplus 
the farmers might have. 

Monroe was selected as the county site, and named Mon- 
roe after the then president. It soon became a prominent 
up-country town and the center of quite a coterie of promi- 
nent men. 

Walter T. Colquitt, then a young lawyer, settled in this 
little village and made his first reputation as a brilliant law- 
yer in the courts of4:his new country. 

Judge James Jackson, so famous for the purity of his life 
and his ability as a jurist, and Judge Junius Hillyer, a prom- 
inent lawyer and a member of Congress, were amono- its 

Governor Henry D. McDaniel, famous as being one of 
the best governors Georgia has ever had, began his profes- 
sional life in Monroe, and after his term was over returned 
there to spend his last years. 

Monroe was long a secluded country village with small 
trade and a small population, but since it has been reached 


The Story of Georgia 

[Chap. VII. 

by the railway has become quite a thrifty town, with a fine 
court-house, a good graded school and some prosperous 
cotton mills. Social Circle, on the Georgia railway, is a 

Walton County Court-house. 

sprightly and enterprising village; and Logansville, in the 
northwestern part of the county, is a village of considerable 
trade. Bethlehem is a small hamlet north of Monroe. 
The educational advantages of the county for many years 


AND THE Georgia People. 329 

were quite poor, but they are better now than they ever 

The people who came into Walton were mainly Metho- 
dists and Baptists, and the Walton circuit of the Methodist 
preacher was a very large and important one in the early 
days of the county's settlement. In 1827 there was a great 
revival in Monroe, at which Walter Colquitt, a young law- 
yer, was converted; and a number of years afterward, in the 
same village, young James Jackson, afterward judge of the 
superior court and member of Congress, and finally chief 
justice of the State, was converted and became a lay 

The Baptists were among the first Christian workers in 
the county, and perhaps the oldest church in the county is 
a Primitive Baptist Church. 


Gwinnett county, named for Button Gwinnett, was laid 
out in 1818, and its county site was, in honor of the brave 
sea captain, called Lawrenceville. Like all these up-country 
counties, it was very rapidly settled. Its population in 1830 
was 13,289, and twenty years afterward, in 1850, was only 
11,257. There was a considerable part of the county cut 
off into other counties; but it is evident that the population 
did not increase after the first few years. The people in 
those days were very migratory, and the opening of better 
lands to the west led to quite an emigration from the 
county. The history of these foot-hill counties is much the 
same. The settler came, built his cabin, opened some 
fields, and then, hearing of better lands in Carroll, Camp- 
bell, Heard, or in Alabama, he sold his farm at what he 
thought was a fair price, and went to this new country to 
begin life again. There were but few of the hardships of 
the frontier to encounter now in the country to which he 
was going, and there was little difficulty in moving when 

330 The Story of Georgia [Chap. vil. 

all he possessed could be put in an ox-cart; and the pros- 
pect of bettering himself by finding a larger range and 
cheaper land led him to move on. There were some very 
fertile lands on the river in Gwinnett, especially on the 
Chattahoochee; but the main body of the land was thin 
and easily worn out. With the exit fro'm the country of the 
first proprietors the land was taken up by the large land- 
owners, and the plantations took the place of farms. But 
a new era came to the country when the railways were made, 
and along the line of the Southern the flourishing villages 
of Norcross, Buford and Suwanee sprang up. Cotton was 
cultivated largely, and the county began to improve rap- 
idly. A railroad was built to Lawrenceville, and when the 
Seaboard Air Line railroad came through the county it 
passed through Lawrenceville. 

The early settlers of Gwinnett were the Winns, Hutch- 
inses, Baughs, Howells, Stricklands, Simmonses, Anthonys, 
Baxters, Grahams, and many others. 

The religious denominations in the county are Presbyte- 
rians, Baptists and Methodists, and for many years the 
Methodists have had within three miles of Lawrenceville a 
camp-ground, where the most distinguished preachers of 
Methodism have preached. 

The style of life among the rural people of Gwinnett has 
always been a very simple one. There was but little wealth, 
so there was but little show. The schools were very ordi- 
nary affairs, and education out of the village was not at a 
premium. Industry and close economy were the sterling 
virtues of the people. 

Dr. Jesse Boring, the celebrated Methodist divine, and 
his brother Isaac began their lives in this county when it 
was Jackson, and their father, a man of sterling worth, was 
for a long time representative from it. Samuel Anthony, 
another distinguished and famous Methodist preacher, 
spent his boyhood in this county. James P. Simmons, a 

1813-1820.] AND THE GEORGIA PEOPLE. 331 

lawyer and an author, lived in this county; and the Howell 
family, who have been so prominent as connected with 
the Atlanta Constihition, came from Gwinnett. The Winn 
family and the Hutchins family, distinguished as lawyers 
and judges, lived in Lawrenceville; but no man has cast a 
greater luster on Gwinnett, the place of his birth, than the 
Philosopher of the Etowah, Colonel Charles H. Smith, who, 
under the name of "Bill Arp," has won a high place among 
literary men as a wise and witty writer, and who has secured 
the strongest grasp on the hearts of the common people as 
their adviser and friend. Men everywhere have read with 
eagerness his letters to the press, in which there is such a 
wealth of sterling common sense and such a perfect purity 
of teaching. 


Hall county was laid off in 1818, and named in honor of 
Lyman Hall. It was very rapidly settled by a class of 
worthy but poor people. 

The land is not generally fertile, but most of it repaid 
the tiller's toil, and there are some beautiful and productive 
farms on the creeks and on the Oconee and Chattahoochee 

It was, like Habersham, famous for the salubrity of its 
summer climate, and early drew to it a class of wealthy 
people from the low-country, who fixed their summer 
homes in Gainesville. The celebrated New Holland springs 
and the White Sulphur springs were excellent summer 
resorts near Gainesville, and when the Southern railway 
was built Gainesville developed into an excellent market 
for the mountain counties bordering it, and became a place 
of large trade. The manufacturing of shoes became a 
leading industry, to which has since been added the man- 
ufacturing of cotton. 

It has been an educational center, and the Gainesville 

332 The Story of Georgia [Chap. Vll. 

Female College has become famous as a school for young 

Gainesville has now grown into a city of considerable 
size, populated by a class of enterprising and intelligent 
people, and has become the leading summer resort of the 

The celebrated Glade mines are in this county. They 
were owned by Dr. Richard Banks for many years, and 
while working the mines some beautiful diamonds were 
found which are still in the family of Dr. Banks. The 
mines are now owned by a northern company. 

Dr. Richard Banks was long a citizen of this county. 
He was a member of that distinguished family who sprang 
from Ralph Banks, one of the first settlers of Elbert 
county, and was long noted for his sterling worth and his 
tender philanthropy. 

The celebrated banker, Richard T. Wilson of New York, 
began his life in this county as the son of a Scotch tanner, 
and made his first money as a boy on a Hall county farm. 

The religious character of the people has always been 
good, the Methodists and Baptists being the leading de- 

The villages of Flowery Branch and Belton, considerable 
little hamlets, are in this county. 

The city of Gainesville, with its handsome court-house 
and its neat churches and handsome private residences, as 
well as its well-built stores, is the most important point of 
northeast Georgia. 

The population of Hall as early as 1830 was nearly 
twelve thousand, but in 1850 eight thousand seven hun- 
dred and thirteen. 

The first settlers of this county as given by Mr. White 
were: W. H. Dickson, E. Dunnegan, Jos. Wilson, John 
Bates, B. Reynolds, R. Armour, Jos. Gailey, T. Terrell, 
John Miller, D. Wofford, M. Moore, W. Blake, Jos. Read, 

1813-1820.] AND THE GrEORGIA PEOPLE. 333 

R. Young, J. McConnell, R. Wurm, Thos. Wilson, William 
Cobb, Joseph Johnson, John Barnet, E. Cowen, A. Thomson, 
Jesse Dobbs, James Abercrombie, Solomon Peake, Richard 
Banks, Wm. Cotter. 


The county of Habersham lies north and northwest of 
the county of Franklin. It was originally owned by the 
Cherokees and was surrendered by them to the United 
States commissioner in i8i8. It is in the main a very poor 
county. Along the Tugalo, the Sequee and the Chattahoo- 
chee there are some beautiful valleys, but in the main the 
land is a thin red land which is soon exhausted. 

It has, however, such an altitude, being from fifteen to 
eighteen hundred feet above the level of the sea, and at 
Tallulah falls over two thousand two hundred and fifty 
feet, that it has almost unrivaled advantages as a summer 
climate; and before the railroad system was fairly opened, 
and when it was necessary to find mountain resorts as near 
home as possible and reach them by private conveyance, 
the people from the low-country and from the cities of 
Savannah and Augusta fixed their summer homes on these 
foot-hills. They came to the up-country in June and re- 
mained until November. They built neat villas and sur- 
rounded themselves with many comforts, and formed a 
delightful if somewhat exclusive society. The population, 
however, was largely of those sturdy yeomanry who have 
done so much for Georgia; and in 1830, when Habersham 
included White, there were ten thousand people in the 
county. The most of these were poor people, and life 
among them was very primitive. 

There was much inducement for the landless South Car- 
olinian and North Carolinian, or Georgian, to settle when 
he could get one hundred and sixty acres of land, much of 
it arable, for one hundred dollars; so the tide of settlers 

334 The Story of Georgia [Chap. vii. 

poured into the country, and one-roomed cabins sprang up 
like magic in the forests. The rich lands on the rivers 
were soon occupied by the well-to-do immigrants from 
North Carolina. 

The beautiful Nacoochee valley, one of the fairest spots 
of earth, comprising a narrow strip of land on the Chatta- 
hoochee, at the foot of Mount Yonah, had been bought at the 
first settlement of the county by Major Williams and by a 
few other North Carolina settlers. It was evident that in 
the days of De Soto the Spaniards had mined for gold in 
this valley, and in the garden of a local Methodist preacher, 
a Mr. Richardson, a rich placer mine was discovered in 
1829. This was the beginning of the wild gold excitement 
which made the unpeopled mountains of upper Georgia for 
a long time as populous as a city full. Along the Chatta- 
hoochee and on Duke's creek, after the placers were washed 
out, the veins were opened and stamp-mills were put up. 
While digging for gold a subterranean town, evidently of 
De Soto's time, was discovered. 

The county was early a favorite with tourists, and the 
railroad from Atlanta to Charlotte opened up the country 
to them, and the marvelous beauty of Tallulah Falls in 
this county, began to draw visitors from all sections. This 
wonderful freak of nature has but few equals east of the 
Rocky mountains. The Tallulah river, a limpid and rapid 
stream, dashes its way through the hills into a deep canon, 
and then over sundry precipices until it reaches the grand 
chasm, where it is eight hundred feet below the surface of 
the earth. A pool at the base of one of the cascades 
is called "Hathorn pool," in memory of a Presbyterian 
minister who many years ago lost his life while bathing 
in it. 

There is a beautiful cascade of one hundred and eighty 
feet near the city of Toccoa, also in this county. 

There was quite an immigration of Swiss people to these 

1813-1820.] AND THE GEORGIA PeOPLE. , 335 

foot-hills some years ago. They have been thrifty people 
and have done well raising grapes and other fruits and cul- 
tivating small farms. 

Although Habersham has been remote from the center 
of population in Georgia, and has, in the main, been inhab- 
ited by a very plain, uncultured people, no county has had 
in it a finer class of cultured men and .women, Most of 
these have, however, only resided here a part of the year, 
but some have been permanent residents. 

Among the distinguished citizens of the county was Dr. 
George D. Phillips, long a prominent physician and a dis- 
tinguished member of the Senate of the State. He was a 
Virginian by birth, who came from the mountains of North 
Carolina to Georgia, and won by his probity and ability the 
highest place in the confidence of the people. His three 
sons. General Wm. Phillips, Colonel Charles D. Phillips 
and Major Jas. P. Phillips, were distinguished ofificers in the 
Confederate army. 

Colonel McMillan, who lost his life during the war, was 
from this county. He was a gallant Irishman by descent, 
and led a regiment. 

The county has always been a religious one, and the 
Mossy Creek camp-ground has been in existence for over 
seventy years. The Baptists have a strong hold in this 
county, and the Presbyterians and Episcopalians have each 
of them churches in it. 

The mining interests of the county have been more or 
less prosperous since the first opening of the mines seventy 
years ago. 

In the last few years the manufacturing interests of the 
county have been greatly developed, and the prospect of 
rapid advance in this direction is bright. 

Among the early settlers were: Gabe Fish, Major Wil- 
liams, Alex Walden, B. Cleveland, John Whitehead, John 
Grant, Jesse Kinney, Chas. Rich, Mr. Vandiver, H. Moss> 

336 The Story of Georgia [Chap. VII. 

Wm. Herring, Mr. Richardson, Mr. Lumsden, Mr. Logan, 
Josiah A. Kees, James Quillian and General Wofford. 


Rabun was formed from the Cherokee country in 1819, 
and was named in honor of Governor Rabun. It was in 
the extreme northeast of Georgia, with South Carolina, 
North Carolina and Tennessee bounding it. 

The county was a wild one. There was one beautiful 
valley of considerable extent, known as the Tennessee val- 
ley, and some smaller valleys on the creeks and on the 
Tallulah river. The larger part of the country was exceed- 
ingly mountainous, and the mountains, while covered with 
timber, were unsuited for pasture lands or farms. 

The remoteness of the county from any market and the 
general sterility of the soil prevented its rapid settlement; 
and the fact that it was possible for a fugitive from justice 
to hide in these mountains of another State led not a few 
men of shadowy character to hide in Rabun. But there 
were many excellent people who came at an early day and 
fixed their homes in the then wild valleys and in the county 
town Clayton. The first settlers were generally from 
North and South Carolina, and in the main were very poor 
and uncultivated people. There was but little hope, out of 
the few small valleys, for remunerative farming; but the 
range was wide and wants were few, and the hill farmer 
managed to live, while the valley farmer was often well- 
to-do. The county was slowly peopled, and a part of it is 
even now uninhabited. 

The celebrated senator, Dr. H. V. M. Miller, was born in 
this county and brought up here, and from here went out 
to win a place among the great men of his State. Judge 
Logan E. Bleckley, the many-sided sage, who, as a philos- 
opher, a wit and a lawyer, has been equally distinguished, 

1813-1820.] AND THE GEORGIA PEOPLE. 337 

was born in Rabun and reared under the shadow of these 

The county has never had a railway in it; but when one 
comes and the taste for mountain-ranging becomes more 
common in Georgia it will be the tourist's favorite resort. 


338 The Story of G-eorgia [Chap. Vlll. 


1820 TO 1829. 

John Clarke — George M. Troup — The Treaty — John Forsyth — Purchase of the- 
Lands between the Ocmulgee and Flint — Great Purchase between Flint and 
Chattahoochee — The Opening of the New Country — Banks — Education — 
Lotteries — Macon — Columbus — The Newspapers — Dueling — Religious His- 
tory of the Period — Great Revival — Jos. C. Stiles — John E. Dawson — C. D. 
Mallary — Stephen Olin — John Howard — Lovick Pierce — Settlement of the 
New Country — Flush Times — Education — Factories — Anti-Tariff Feeling — 
Counties Formed — Newton — Houston — Dooly — Monroe — Henry — Fayette 
— Dekalb — Bibb — Crawford — Pike — Upson — Decatur — Ware — Taliaferro — 
Butts — Baker — Lee — Troup — Meriwether — Harris — Coweta — Campbell — 
Carroll — Talbot — Marion — Thomas — Lowndes — Muscogee — Randolph. 

Authorities as in last Chapter, with Dawson's Compilation of Georgia Laws, 
Prince's Digest for the history of the counties, United States public docu- 
ments referring to the troubles of Georgia and the general government^ 
Newspapers of the period. 

John Clarke was elected governor by the Legislature in 
the fall of 1 8 19, and was governor when the period which 
is covered by this chapter began. 

He was the son of Elijah Clarke, the great partizan chief, 
and was with him in his Revolutionary campaign and in 
his forays against the Indians after it. He had won his 
spurs as a fearless, able soldier before he was a man, and 
was especially distinguished in the last severe conflict be- 
tween the whites and the Creeks at Jack's creek. 

The accounts of John Clarke differ, as they come from his 
friends or his foes. That he was a man of fine mind, that 
he was a brave soldier, that he was a man of generous heart 
when his passions were not aroused, that no charges of dis- 
honesty were justly laid at his door, none deny. That he 
was unsteady in his habits, that he had little education, that 


AND THE Georgia People. 339 

he had a violent temper and was an unrelenting foe, his 
best friends are forced to admit. 

There was a bitter feud between him and Wm. H. Craw- 
ford, and the Clarke and Crawford parties divided the State 
into hostile camps for years. 

He had a fierce hatred for Judge Charles Tait, who was a 
warm friend to Crawford, and whom Clarke suspected of 
having made an effort to defame him. His animosity to 
him reached such a height one day, while heated with 
drink, and while Judge Tait, the judge of the circuit, was 
riding quietly along the streets of Milledgeville, he attacked 
him with a horsewhip. Judge Tait was not only a judicial 
officer but a lame man, and Colonel Clarke's attack was 
loudly condemned. He was fined two thousand dollars for 
the assault, but the fine was remitted, though the verdict 

He assailed Crawford so virulently that Crawford chal- 
lenged him and went on the field. Crawford was shot 
through the wrist. 

Clarke was said to drink to very great excess, and to be 
very violent when in his cups, and was in great disfavor 
with many, but he was the idol of the common people and 
was the favorite with many of the leading men of the State. 

By this time political parties had divided mainly on social 
lines. The rich Virginians, the city people, and the low- 
country planters were antagonized by the plain and unedu- 
cated denizens of the small farms. Crawford was a clas- 
sical scholar of excellent family, of commanding presence, 
and had been successful, while Clarke was the leader of the 
sa?isculottc, as well as a large party of respectables. 

He wrote a very bitter pamphlet against Crawford, Tait 
and Mitchell, in which he labored to show that there was a 
shameful conspiracy between Tait and Crawford to rob him 
of his character as an honest man. He accused Mitchell, 
who was a friend to Crawford, of uniting with him in smug- 

340 The Story of Georgia [Chap. viil. 

gling a cargo of African slaves into the State. The impar- 
tial reader of this pamphlet, while he can but admire the 
vigorous English in which it is written and the evident sin- 
cerity with which Clarke makes his damaging charges, is 
obliged to decide that the angry man's charges were base- 
less suspicions; but there were a great many people in those 
bitter days who did believe that their political idol, the in- 
trepid soldier, who had fought for them against Tories and 
Indians, who was an up-country yeoman and not a low- 
country aristocrat, who was a poor man and not a large 
slaveholder, and who had few advantages of education and 
was not, like his antagonists, a Latin scholar, which, to 
them, was the highest culture, was a victim of a malicious 

He was a candidate for governor against Governor Troup 
and defeated him, and a second time he ran against him, 
with the same result. When Troup, who defeated Talbot 
by a very small vote, stood for reelection in 1825, Clarke 
was again a candidate. The two men were in many re- 
spects alike, and in many others very unlike. Both were fierce 
in temper, unrelenting and fearless; both fond of wine and 
always ready for a fray; but Troup was a man of gentle 
blood, an English aristocrat in every fiber of his being, 
although he was a decided Democrat politically. He had 
had all the advantages of a liberal education, had spent his 
life in the best social circles of the cities, and the culture 
and wealth of the coast and of the low-country was at his 
back, and the Crawford party, containing the wealthiest 
element of the up-country, supported him warmly. He 
had been elected to the Legislature from Chatham county 
before he was of age, and was sent to Congress as early as 
he could be admitted a member. Like his opponent he 
was a pronounced Republican and States' rights man, going 
beyond Mr. Calhoun or Mr. Jefferson in his States' rights 

1820-1829.] AND THE GEORGIA PeOPLB. 341 

views. General Clarke had opposed him before the Legis- 
lature, and, as we have seen, defeated him twice. 

The proud and taciturn patrician would descend to none 
of the arts of a politician, and so he was no match for his 
wily antagonist, and Clarke triumphed; but in 1823 Troup 
ran against Talbot, a Clarke man, before the Legislature, 
and was elected by two votes. 

The method of electing the governor by the Legislature 
was changed, and the election of 1825 was before the peo- 
ple. The Clarke men again called upon John Clarke to 
lead them to victory, and the fiercest strife Georgia had 
ever known was the result. The newspapers had become 
more numerous, and the style of writing was more vig- 
orous than polite. The election was, however, won by 
Troup by a majority of about seven hundred. Governor 
Troup's second term was perhaps the most notable, and it 
was the most stormy of any that up to that time had been 
known in Georgia, and the story of Troup and the treaty is 
in place here: 

The Yazoo fraud was indirectly the cause of the most 
threatening collision which had ever taken place between 
the general government and any one of the States, for the 
famous conflict of Governor Troup with the president, John 
Quincy Adams, which put Georgia in positive rebellion 
against the general government, resulted from it. That 
the sale of the Yazoo lands would be recognized as a fact 
accomplished by any impartial court was apparent, and the 
Georgians were very willing to shift the issue and let the 
United States government meet the question. The cession 
of the lands in dispute was made, therefore, in the first 
years of the nineteenth century to the general government, 
and it agreed, among other things, to extinguish the Indian 
title to all lands held by the Creeks and Cherokees in 
Georgia and put Georgia in peaceable possession of them. 
The Georgia settlements by 1802, when the agreement was 

342 The Story of Georgia [Chap. VIII. 

entered into, extended to the banks of the Oconee on the 
west and to the Cherokee nation, which occupied still a 
considerable section on the north and northwest. As we 
have seen, this line was advanced to the Ocmulgee. 

The opening of the new lands in middle Georgia, the in- 
vention of the cotton-gin, the decline of tobacco-planting 
and the large increase of negro slaves in the older States 
had led to a very large immigration of Virginians and 
North and South Carolinians into Georgia, and the new 
counties east of the Ocmulgee had become thickly peopled. 
There was a large area of most excellent cotton land be- 
tween the Ocmularee and the Chattahoochee which was still 
occupied by the Creeks as a hunting-ground, but was other- 
wise untenanted. The Georgians cast a longing eye on the 
beautiful domain, and persuaded themselves they had a 
good title to it and were kept out of it by the perfidious 
Creeks. The Creeks were now reduced to about twenty 
thousand. Of these fifteen thousand lived in Alabama and 
five thousand were scattered through Georgia. During the 
war of 1812 some of them had been friendly to the whites 
and some had been hostile. Among the friendly Indians 
was Colonel William Mcintosh, a half-breed. He was the 
son of Captain Mcintosh, who was an uncle of George M. 
Troup. Captain Mcintosh was a British captain and had 
lived among the Creeks and had an Indian wife. Colonel 
William Mcintosh, his son, was now a man of large prop- 
erty and of considerable intelligence, and was a chief 
among the Creeks. The hostile party had been perfectly 
subdued and had relinquished all the land they claimed in 
Alabama and Georgia except that which had been reserved 
to them by treaty. The United States government now 
proposed to them to buy all their possessions in Georgia 
and Alabama and give them acre for acre of better land 
across the Mississippi, in addition to a liberal payment for 
improvements. There were two parties in the tribe, one 


AND THE Georgia People. 343 

led by Mcintosh, who thought it best to sell their lands 
and remove, and a much larger party who were opposed to 
any trade whatever. 

The Georgians were growing very restless. They stood 
on the banks of the Ocmulgee, an impatient, anxious 
horde, and made a loud clamor for tlieir land. The parties 
of Crawford and Clarke were bitterly antagonistic to each 
other, but on this question they were both agreed. Georgia 
ought and should have her land. Governor Troup had 
defeated John Clarke for governor and was in the executive 
mansion. John Crowell, a bitter antagonist of Governor 
Troup and a warm friend of John Clarke, was in the nation 
as Indian agent; Mr. Monroe was in Washington spending 
the last year of his presidency; Mr. Calhoun was his secre- 
tary of war. There was to be of necessity a change in the 
administration early in 1825, and Mr. Monroe and his sec- 
retary decided it was necessary that the Georgia matter 
should be settled before the new administration came in, 
and if possible the Indian title to all land east of the Chat- 
tahoochee should be extinguished. Before taking anything 
like coercive measures, Duncan G. Campbell and James 
Meriwether were appointed as commissioners to treat with 
the Creeks and get their consent to the sale. 

Campbell was a Clarke man. He was a friend of Crow- 
ell, the Indian agent, and a man of unquestioned integ- 
rity and good sense. James Meriwether, his colleague, was 
a member of an old and distinguished Virginia family, 
famous for sterling virtues and clear heads. These two 
men were selected for the purpose of making a treaty and 
went at once to the nation to confer with John Crowell, the 
Indian agent. It was clear to them that Crowell could do 
much to defeat the treaty, even though he might not be 
able to secure its ratification. Crowell was a wily and de- 
termined man, and Campbell, who was his friend and his 
party associate, was anxious to secure his help. Crowell 

344 The Story of Georgia [Chap. vni. 

was a good hater and Governor Troup was the object of 
his deepest animosity. Campbell feared that this animosity 
might lead him to oppose the treaty which Governor Troup 
was so anxious to have made, and which would certainly 
bring to the governor such popular favor. So he used all 
his influence with Crowell to lead him to help forward his 
mission. The agent did not commit himself one way or 
the other, but in accordance with his instructions from 
Washington he ordered the Indians called together and 
made arrangements for their maintenance while they were 
in council. The Indians came at the call of the agent to 
Broken Arrow, in Alabama, and met the commissioners. 
It was soon evident that they were in no humor to make 
any treaty whatever. Mcintosh was in favor of the nation 
selling its Georgia lands, but he was almost alone. The 
commissioners found themselves antagonized at every point. 
It was evident that some secret influence was at work to 
defeat them. Crowell said he was neutral, and that while 
he favored the removal of the Indians, he did not, as their 
agent, feel at liberty to use his influence to bring it about. 
Walker, however, the assistant agent, who had married an 
Indian woman, was bitterly and avowedly opposed to the 
sale, and used all his influence against it, even writing the 
replies which the chiefs made to the commissioners. With 
Crowell doing nothing to help them, and Walker openlv 
and secretly opposing them, their only hope was in Mcin- 
tosh. Since the death of McGilveray there was no man 
among the Creeks that could compare with Mcintosh in 
ability. He had visited the new land and came to his tribe 
with a favorable report, but it was in vain. The Indians were 
fixed in their determination not to sell an acre of their 
land in Georgia or Alabama, and the commissioners, de- 
feated at every point, left the nation and returned to Wash- 
ington city. 

The government was determined the treaty should be 

Seal Continenial Government. 

Geo. Walton. 


Jos. Habersham. 

Gov. G. M. T 


Geo. \V. Crawford. 

m ^iri 


John Forsyth. 

1820-1829.] AND THE GEORGIA PeOPLE. 345 

made and that nothing should be allowed to stand in the 
way, and so Walker was dismissed and Crowell was repri- 
manded, and a new council was called to meet in February 
at Indian Springs, on the Georgia lands, and Crowell was 
ordered to summon the chiefs and provide for them. They 
were summoned and provision was made and some of them 
were present. Mcintosh was there favoring the treaty. 
Big Warrior and Little Prince were there to declare their 
opposition to it, and when they had protested they returned 
at once to the nation. Mcintosh, however, and several 
other Indians, claiming to have authority, signed the treaty. 
There was no delay in conveying it to Washington. It was 
hurried to the Senate, and was there ratified. The day 
after it was ratified the protest against it came from the 
nation, but it was too late. 

Up to this time the State of Georgia had had nothing to 
do with the matter. The United States government had 
been the sole actor; but now that the treaty was made 
Governor Troup decided as soon as possible to get posses- 
sion of the ceded lands. It had been agreed in the treaty 
that the Indians in the ceded territory should not be mo- 
lested for twelve months; but in a few weeks after the 
treaty was made Governor Troup made an agreement with 
Mcintosh by which he secured permission to begin the 
survey at once. Governor Troup was a good hater, and 
regarded with a Scotchman's antipathy the new administra- 
tion with John Quincy Adams at its head and Henry Clay 
as secretary of state, and he had no disposition to consult 
this new government about what he, the governor of a sov- 
ereign State, should do; and so he made arrangements at 
once to send his surveyors into the field to run off the lines 
and form the new counties. 

Mcintosh, who gave his ready assent to this course, was 
apprehensive of trouble and asked the protection of the 
governor. He was, however, a thoroughly fearless man, 

346 The Story of Georgia [Chap. vill. 

and took no steps for his own safety. The chiefs among 
the Creeks claimed that they had a well-known law that any 
chief selling lands without the consent of the council should 
forfeit his life. If Mcintosh knew of this law or feared its 
execution, he took no precautions to protect himself; and, 
while he expressed his fear that he might be molested, he 
remained quietly and unprotected at his home on the Chat- 
tahoochee, in what is now known as Mcintosh Bend, in 
Carroll county. Here he had a large plantation well stocked 
with cattle and a number of negroes. He had two planta- 
tions and three wives, and was the only chief of prominence 
this side of the Chattahoochee. The Indians in Alabama 
determined that he, whom they said had betrayed them, 
should die, and they made all their plans for his assassina- 
tion. A body of picked men quietly glided up to his house 
at the bend in the night, and after a brave fight on his part 
he was shot down, and two other chiefs were killed at the 
same time, and his house burned and his cattle slaughtered. 
The executioners of the edict of the secret council then 
returned to Alabama without doing further harm to any one. 

The killing of Mcintosh and his sympathizing chiefs 
produced an intense excitement in Georgia, and wild rumors 
of an Indian war were afloat everywhere. Governor Troup 
was greatly outraged at the death of his relative, and laid 
the blame on the general government, and especially on 
Crowell, whom he accused to the president as being acces- 
sory to this foul murder, as he called it. 

The United States government had been very tardy in 
indorsing the procedures of the commissioners, and espe- 
cially Governor Troup's haste in beginning the survey, and 
now sent out T. P. Andrews, Esq., from Washington City, 
to look into matters. Andrews came at once to Milledofe- 
ville and had the case laid before him, and especial empha- 
sis given to the charges against Crowell. To one who reads 
the voluminous correspondence between Major Andrews 

1820-1829.] AND THE GEORGIA PEOPLE. 347 

and Governor Troup it will plainly appear that if Andrews 
had not prejudged the matter before he came to Georgia, 
it did not take him long to come to the conclusion that the 
treaty was a fraud, that Mcintosh was a traitor, and that 
Crowell was an innocent man. 

The correspondence between Major Andrews and Gov- 
ernor Troup was very fiery. The surveyors were getting 
ready for the survey when General Edmund P. Gaines, 
then in command of the division, was ordered by the secre- 
tary of war to go to the nation and to keep the surveyors 
out of the ceded lands. While matters were in this condi- 
tion Andrews, who had definite charges made to him con- 
cerning Crowell, suspended him for the time being. Gov- 
ernor Troup sent Henry G. Lamar into the nation to find 
out and report the temper of the Indians, and then sent 
three commissioners, Messrs. Jones, Jordan and Torrance, 
to examine witnesses and see if it was possible to convict 
Crowell of the crime charged against him. The bitter hos- 
tility of the commission was at once manifested. They 
bullied and badgered and abused and insulted the old mis- 
sionary, Isaac Smith, and his Baptist associate, Mr. Com- 
prere, and all other witnesses, and made every effort to force 
a conviction; but their failure was pitiful. While one may 
well believe Crowell, who was a bitter foe of Mcintosh, 
shed no tears over his death, yet it was evident that he had 
had no part or lot in it. 

General Gaines was now in charge, and it was soon 
manifest that there was to be war between him and Gov- 
ernor Troup. General Gaines and Major Andrews were 
disposed to open the question as to whether the treaty 
ought to have been made, and Governor Troup was deter- 
mined that it should not be opened. He would go forward 
with the survey. The secretary of war took sides with 
General Gaines and Major Andrews. Then it was that 
Governor Troup said: "We have exhausted the argument. 

348 The Story of Georgia [Chap. viil. 

We will stand by our arms," and ordered the militia to be 
in readiness to march into the nation. Congress was, how- 
ever, in session, and the president referred the question to 
it for a settlement. The secretary of war, while he repudi- 
ated the treaty of February, immediately made another 
which gave the Georgians all they asked; and although the 
stern and intrepid governor refused to recognize this second 
treaty, the United States allowed the survey to go on; and 
so the great issue was settled. The Creeks went over the 
Mississippi; the Mcintosh party got ;^ioo,ooo damages* 
Crowell was acquitted, and Governor Troup was rewarded 
with a seat in the United States Senate. So ended without 
bloodshed the fiercest contest, up to that time, ever known 
between a State and the central government.* 

In 1 82 1 a treaty had been made by the United States 
commissioner with the Creeks, and that magnificent country 
between the Flint and the Ocmulgee had been ceded by 
them and distributed by lottery among the people. In 
1825, as we have seen, the State secured possession of that 
section between the Flint and Chattahoochee, and in 1827 
the Creeks ceded the last acre of land held by them and 
withdrew from the State. 

The Creeks were the most powerful of all the Indian 
tribes in Georgia, but they had no very extensive settlement 
in the State. Their main towns were in Alabama, and, 
while they laid claim to all Georgia, comparatively few of 
them lived on this side of the Chattahoochee. By succes- 
sive agreements they had surrendered first one part of the 
country and then another, until, after nearly a hundred 
years had passed since Oglethorpe made his first treaty 

" 1 have not given, and could not well do so, my authority for the several 
statements in the above account. I have carefully consulted all the authorities 
within my reach, and give above what I think is a straightforward statement 
of this interesting event. In Harden's "Life of Troup," in White's Sketch 
of Troup and in the public documents bearing on it, which contains all the cor- 
respondence, the main facts are found in full. 


AND THE Georgia People. 349 

with them, they were entirely removed from the present 
territory of the State. 

Georgia now made great strides forward. Planting cotton 
was never so profitable, and the tide of immigration into 
the new lands was at its flood. The immigration from Vir- 
ginia and North Carolina of people of means, such as those' 
who settled in Jones, Jasper, Putnam and Baldwin, had now 
diminished very considerably, and the current from Virginia 
was flowing to the black lands of Alabama and Mississippi; 
but a great crowd of worthy people of small means was 
moving from central North Carolina and upper South Caro- 
lina into Walton, Gwinnett and Newton, while from the pine 
woods of eastern Georgia and the southern part of South 
Carolina the restless cattlemen were moving into Ware, 
Appling and Irwin. 

The rich hummocks of Thomas and Lowndes and Deca- 
tur were attracting large slave-owners from Burke, Bulloch, 
Screven, Laurens and Montgomery, and the rich lands of 
Baker were settled by the large planters from Jones, Twiggs, 
Putnam, Burke and Liberty. 

Cotton was now worth fifteen cents a pound, and was, to 
a large degree, a surplus crop, since the thrifty planter 
made all his provisions on his plantation. The opening of 
cotton lands in southwest Georgia, where large bodies could 
be easily bought, led to the making of many very large 
plantations, and what had been occasional in the older 
counties became the rule in this new section, and throughout 
Lee, Baker and Early the same system of planting obtained 
which was found on the large cotton plantations of the older 
counties. It grew up as the negro population increased, 
and had reached immense proportions at the beginning of 
the war. Many men who began life with a family of negroes 
of perhaps five or six found themselves at sixty years old 
possessed of a hundred slaves, and had never bought any, 
but many more bought negroes and land with every ending 


The Story of Georgia 

[Chap. A^III. 

year, until their slave property was very great and their 
lands were baronial in extent. 

They wore out the hills of eastern Georgia making cotton, 
and then came to southwestern Georgia and bought large 
bodies of land and opened plantations. They did not live 
on their places themselves in many cases, but employed an 
overseer and fixed their negro quarters on them. Their 
plantations were managed with a great deal of skill and 
with a complete organization. A large plantation was a 
little kingdom. The overseer was in charge, a black driver 
was under him, there were hoe-hands, plowmen, quarter- 
masters, cooks, gardeners, blacksmiths, carpenters, shoe- 
makers, a midwife, nurses, dairy maids, spinners, weavers, 
seamstresses, chicken- and turkey-raisers, and even a gang 
of little negroes, called the "drop-shot gang," who carried 
water and food to the hands in the field. The system of 
working was exact. There was a horn blown, or a bell 
rung, as early as it was possible to see, and by sunrise the 
hands were in the fields. The work was steady until noon, 
then the mules were fed and the hands ate their midday 
meal; work was then resumed and continued till dark. On 
Saturday the rations of three and a half pounds of bacon, one 
peck of meal and one quart of molasses were given to each 
adult. Twice a year each negro received a suit of cotton 
clothing and once a year one of woolen kersey, and in win- 
ter had a pair of strong, well-made shoes. At the quarter 
each negro family had a cabin, a garden or patch, some 
chickens, and often a pig. 

Plantation discipline was very strict and punishment for 
any dereliction was very sure, and for grievous offenses 
sometimes severe, but rarely cruel. Young negroes were 
punished with a few strokes of a cowhide, and more serious 
offenses by bucking and strapping the offender. 

The overseer's orders were imperative and absolute, and 
were never resisted. He knew his own interests too well 


AND THE Georgia People. 351 

to punish injuriously a slave or to overwork him or neglect 
him. He was always a man of good sense and of energy, 
and was often a good practical physician, who made his 
own prescriptions for ordinary ailments. He received a. 
good salary and always made money. 

There was never a time when fortunes were so rapidly 
made as by the Georgia planters from 1820 to 1835, ^"^ 
there never were a people more eager in their pursuit of 
wealth. The old restriction on the domestic slave-trade 
was removed, and the negro speculator, as he was called^ 
brought great troops of negroes from Virginia and Mary- 
land and sold them to the Georgia planters. The lands of 
the older parts of middle Georgia were not worn out, and 
the lands in the west of Georgia were now new and un- 
opened. Cotton was bringing a high price and had ready 
sale. Negroes rose in value every year, and the rich planter 
bought a number every winter and opened new grounds. 

No business was in greater disrepute than negro specu- 
lating, but it was profitable. The eastern Virginian found 
himself with worn-out lands and many slaves on his own es- 
tate, and was compelled to sell some of his slaves or move 
from his ancestral halls. The Richmond slave-dealer 
bought his negroes and sent them to Georgia, and bought 
also those who were sold by guardians and administrators,, 
and many of them came to Georgia. 

The planter spent his own money and borrowed from the 
bank that he might buy more land and more negroes. There 
was nothing thought of but making cotton. The planter 
bought more land to make more cotton to buy more ne- 
groes to make more cotton. There was no attention paid 
in many cases to any improvements in the condition of 
things around his home. A man with an income of $5,000 
per year from his cotton crop, and that clear profit, often 
lived in a log cabin and fed his family on fat bacon and 
corn bread. The rich lands of the western counties enticed. 

352 The Story of Georgia [Chap. vill. 

the well-settled planters in the east to sell out their homes 
and begin life again in a log cabin. All was bustle and 
hurry. Forests were felled, fields were opened, cotton-gins 
and screws were erected, and now, for the first time, mules 
were largely bought. 

The system of making cotton and buying supplies was 
not yet in vogue. The planter made what his plantation 
required — in many cases economizing in what his family 
needed that he might buy a new lot of negroes and a near- 
by plantation. The pine lands were still neglected; but 
there were extensive ranches in Thomas and Lowndes, and 
rich planters had thousands of cattle on their stock-farms 
in these barrens. Money was easy, and the planters could 
get almost unlimited accommodations at the various banks. 
Macon had sprung up like magic, and cotton from all these 
new counties and some of the old was being emptied into 
the warehouses on Walnut street and Bridge row. A line 
of steamboats had been put on the river, and barges loaded 
with cotton were towed down the Ocmulgee to Darien. Haw- 
kinsville, which had absorbed old Hartford, was the center 
of trade from the counties south of it, and Houston and 
Dooly, and the cotton-producing counties on the west 
shipped their cotton to Columbus. Augusta and Charleston 
were the markets of the up-country merchant, who bought 
his groceries in Augusta and his dry-goods in Charleston, 
and sent his cotton in wagons to Augusta and Savannah. 

The planters who did their work on a large scale were 
not more eager after money than the prosperous cotton 
factor, the merchant, or the small farmer who cherished 
now the hope of becoming a large planter himself in time. 

During the early part of the period of which we write 
religion was sadly neglected, and little attention was paid 
to education; but there was not an entire cessation of inter- 
est in the matter of academies. The education of girls 
began now to attract a considerable amount of attention, 

Senev Uali., Emory College. 


AND THE Georgia People. 353 

and, although the Legislature had refused to charter any- 
female academy and give it a part of the appropriation (as 
we have seen in the account of Jackson county), in 1827 a 
charter was granted for a female academy, and it received 
a small appropriation. There were few exclusively female 
schools, but all the schools aided by the State up to this 
time were mixed. 

The matter of transportation was now, in some sections, 
more satisfactory, as steamboats had been put on most of 
the rivers. 

In the cities the banking facilities were much increased, 
and there were now the Planters Bank, with a circulation of 
$214,922; the Mechanics Bank, with a circulation of 
$456,621; Marine and Fire Insurance, with a circulation of 
$155,000; Bank State of Georgia, capital $1,500,000; Bank 
of Darien, with a circulation of $329,000; Bank of Augusta, 
with a circulation of $437,764; Central Bank of Georgia, 
with a circulation of $223,125 — this bank had a capital of 
$2,485,753.51. Just as this period drew near its close the 
Bank of Macon and the Bank of Columbus were estab- 
lished. These banks claimed a specie basis for their cir- 
culation, and at this time were all specie-paying banks. 
The State had large interests in several of them, as it had 
in some of the transportation companies. 

At this period the number of chartered academies in the 
State was very large. There were but few county towns in 
which there was not one; and in the thickly settled counties 
there were a number in various parts of each. There was 
a small fund given by the State for the education of poor 
children, but it was very meager, and in the poorer sections 
the people had very few educational advantages. The sub- 
scription school (as the private school was called) was still 
the only reliance of many of the people, and it was a poor 
and uncertain one. The University had Dr. Waddell now 


354 The Story of Georgia [Chap. vill. 

at its head, and was becoming prosperous. The thriving 
city of Milledgeville was the first city in Georgia to attempt 
a school on the modern plan, and endeavored to establish 
a common school system; but evidently the effort was not 
successful. The lottery was still popular. The Salem Acad- 
emy in Clarke (in after time under the care of the 
Methodists) was now to have the benefit of a lottery; 
Augusta, Macon, Milledgeville and Monroe were to build 
Masonic halls with a lottery to help them. The male and 
female academies in Greensboro, the Eatonton academy,, 
the poor in Burke county, the Wrightsboro academy, the 
DeKalb county academy, the Washington county academy, 
the Madison academy, the Clinton academy, the Fayette 
county academy, the Madison county academy, all were to 
be helped by lotteries. 

Up to this time there had been nothing on the statute 
books prohibiting the learning of a negro to read or write. 
But the abolition question was beginning; there was an. 
insurrection of negro slaves in Virginia; so the Legislature 
passed an act prohibiting all persons from teaching negroes 
to read or write. 

The newspapers established during this period were The 
Constitutionalist (Augusta), TJie Macoji Telegraph (Macon), 
The Enquirer (QoXviXVLQwi), The AtJieniaii (Athens), The States- 
man a?id Patriot, The Courier (Savannah), The Advertiser (Mt. 
Zion, Hancock county). The Rcpiiblicayi (Jackson), The 
Cabiiiet (Warrenton), TJie Phce?nx (Darien). There was no 
daily, but the Co7istitutionalist and Courier were published, 

During this period Georgia was visited by the greatest 
religious awakening in her history. The Georgians were,, 
as far as their every-day conduct was concerned, far from 
being exemplary, but the common people were very sound 
in their faith. There were a few skeptics among some of 
the leading public men of the older cities, but the plain. 

1820-1829.] AND THE GEORGIA PEOPLE. 355 

people believed in the Bible and reverenced religion. The 
camp-meeting had now become a fixture in nearly all the 
counties. There was no county in which there was not a 
camp-ground, and in many there were several. 

The settler had not built his cabin in the new purchase 
before the circuit-rider was at his door. Soon a suitable 
place near a spring was chosen for an encampment, a bush 
harbor was made, logs were provided as seats, and a camp- 
meeting was announced. In the older counties where camp- 
meetings had been held for twenty years comfortable little 
tents made of rough plank or logs had been built and a 
large board-covered tabernacle provided. Crowds came 
from a score of miles, preachers by the dozen assembled, 
and the most gifted men of the churches preached their 
most earnest sermons. There were often, during this period, 
one hundred tents on the ground, and sometimes five thou- 
sand people were in the congregation. 

The religious awakening extended to all sections and em- 
braced all classes of people, and largely changed the face 
of Georgia. The rough brutality of the ring, the horse- 
race and the shooting-match ceased in middle Georgia; 
children grew up to manhood who had never seen a play- 
ing card, and even dancing was given up in the country 
neighborhoods. Churches sprang up everywhere, and in 
villages and in county towns where there had been none 
houses of worship were built. 

Judges like Colquitt opened their courts with prayer and 
preached to the people during the recesses of the court. 
Many deplorable things were left, but in the Georgia of 
1830 there was a vast change for the better. 

It was during this great revival that the distinguished 
Judge Longstreet became a Methodist, and afterward a 
Methodist preacher. He never lost his individuality, and 
was the same humor-loving man after his conversion as he 
had been before. It was while he was a leading layman 

356 The Story of Georgia [Chap. viii. 

in his church that he wrote "Georgia Scenes." It has 
been absurdly said that he was greatly ashamed of this 
book and endeavored to suppress it. On the contrary, he 
recognized it — as it was — as the truest picture of certain 
phases of Georgia life which had ever been painted. 

Walter T. Colquitt, the great Democratic lawyer, was an- 
other who became a Methodist. 

Dr. John E. Dawson, a cultivated and wealthy physician, 
was converted and gave up his practice and became one of 
the most distinguished Baptist preachers in the South. 

George F. Pierce, then a boy at college in Athens, who 
afterward was the bishop of the Methodists, and Dr. John 
Jones, long one of the most noted of Presbyterians, were 
converted during this great awakening. 

Among the Baptist workers were Dr. Adiel Sherwood, 
young Dr. Dawson, Jonathan Davis and Dr. Charles D. 
Mallary, one of the most cultured of their preachers, who 
had been brought up and educated in Vermont, and was 
the associate of Stephen Olin in college and his lifelong 

Stephen Olin, who was also a Vermonter, a man of mag- 
nificent intellect and fine culture; John Howard, famous for 
his eloquence and his fervor; Lovick Pierce, then in his 
vigorous young manhood, and James O. Andrew, afterward 
bishop, were among the Methodists ; while Jos. C. Stiles 
and Dr. Hoyt, who had just come to Georgia, were among 
the Presbyterians. 

As we have seen, there was quite a large and fertile sec- 
tion of land opened to settlement, and the rush of immi- 
grants was immediate and continuous. There were some 
of the older counties now divided and all the new purchase 
was mapped out into counties. The land was granted by 
lottery. Many who drew the lots removed at once to them 
and settled. Some sold their grants to others, who moved, 
and in many cases the land speculator bought the plot and 

1820-1829.] AND THE GEORGIA PeOPLE. 357 

grant for investment. There was quite a diversity in the 
quality of the land opened to settlement. Some of it was 
what was known as land of the first quality. Much in the 
counties of Coweta, Troup, Meriwether, Harris and Talbot 
was not surpassed by any in the State. It was healthy, 
fertile and accessible, and brought good prices for those 

The lands in the low-country pine woods varied much in 
fertility and were very cheap, while the lands of Carroll 
and Campbell were sold at very low prices, and, at that 
time, were regarded as only desirable by those who wanted 
cheap homes and an extensive range. 

There was no part of Georgia as yet exhausted, and the 
tide of prosperity which had set in just after the war with 
England had not ebbed. The counties formed during this 
period divide themselves into groups closely resembling 
those mentioned in previous chapters. Henry, Fayette, 
Dekalb, Newton, Pike and Butts made one group. The 
land, as a whole, was not fertile, but, in the main, arable. 
The price at which the land was sold was generally not 
more than one dollar per acre, often much less. 

Cotton was not the chief product, and few men had 
many slaves. The account given of each county will show 
such a similarity of nature and conditions as will render the 
story of one county the story of all, except in certain individ- 
ual features. Troup, Meriwether, Harris, Coweta, Talbot, 
Monroe, Houston, Bibb and Upson were great cotton-raising 
counties in which there was little diversity of feature. The 
people who occupied the lands were largely cotton-plant- 
ers, and the land was famous for its fertility. In Marion, De- 
catur, Baker, Randolph and Thomas there was a country of 
mixed features, in which there were large cotton plantations 
and many slaves, or wide unsettled ranches in the pine woods; 
while Lowndes, Ware, Crawford, Dooly and Muscogee 
were almost exclusively piny woods counties, in which there 

358 The fc5T0RY of GEORaiA [Chap. viii. 

was little raised for market besides cattle. The people who 
occupied these counties varied in accordance with the nature 
of the soil and the character of its products, running all 
the way from the most ignorant rustic who lived in a one- 
roomed cabin to the wealthy planter with five hundred 
slaves and an elegant mansion. 

Manufacturing had been almost entirely abandoned, and 
the people were intense anti-tariff men, and for years after 
this the word "tariff" was sufficient to rouse any average 
rustic to wrath. Judge Longstreet used to tell of a traveler 
from the up-country who came suddenly upon a railway, 
the first he had ever seen. Directly, to his alarm and that 
of his boy, the train came rushing by. "Dad," said the 
thoroughly frightened boy, "what is that ar thing?" "I 
dunno, son," said the father; "but I 'spect it ar the tariff." 
And this was over ten years after this time. The passage 
of the tariff act of 1828 aroused great alarm and resent- 
ment, and Georgia was in a fever of political excitement 
when Governor Gilmer, in 1829, took the gubernatorial 

We turn now to the study of the counties: 


Henry county, which was laid off in 1821, was rapidly 
populated. It was named in honor of Patrick Henry and 
its county town after the gallant McDonough. In 1830, 
not ten years after it was made a county, there were over 
10,000 inhabitants in its borders. It was a healthy county; 
land was cheap, and settlers from South Carolina and the 
older counties in Georgia crowded into it. They were very 
plain, good people — industrious, economical and religious. 
Much of the land was hilly, and much of it very thin; 
but it produced. those things that were needed for the sup- 
port of its inhabitants, and there was no want among them. 

The first superior court, according to White, was held in 

1820-1829.] AND THE GEORGIA PeOPLE. 359 

1822, at the house of Wm. Ruff, and the names of the first 
grand jurors were: Wm. Jackson, VVm. Malone, James Sel- 
lers, James Pate, Thomas Abercrombie, C. Cochran, G. Gay, 
Wm. Wood, Willie Terrell, Jether Earnes, Robert Shaw, 
Jas. Colwell, John Brooks, F. Pearson, Wm. McKnight, 
Jacob Hinton, Jackson Smith, S. Strickland. 

The first settlers, according to the same authority, were: 
Wm. Hardin, Jesse Johnson, James Sellers, H. J. Williams, 
Wm. Pate, D. Johnson, W. H. Turner, M. Brooks, S. Weems, 
W. Herbert, Roland Brown, R. M. Sims, Wm. Crawford, 
E. Mosely, John Brooks, Reuben Deming, Jacob Hinton, 
E. Brooks, John Calloway, R. Jenks, Colonel S. Strickland, 
Parker Eason, Jos. Kirk, Wm. Griffin, John Griffin, Daniel 
Smith, Wm, Tuggle, John Lovejoy. 

Henry was drawn upon very largely by Griffin on one 
side and Atlanta on the other; but its population, which 
was over 10,000 in 1830, was 14,726 in 1850. Of these 
there were nearly 5,000 slaves. 

When the Southern railway from Macon to Atlanta and 
the Midland from McDonough to Columbus were opened, 
the country was furnished with the best railroad facilities, 
flourishing villages sprang up along the line, and McDon- 
ough, which had declined until it was a very small hamlet, 
began to take on the proportions of a considerable and 
prosperous county town. 

The people of Henry have always been noted for their 
moral and religious excellence. The Baptists and Method- 
ists have been the main bodies of Christians. The Method- 
ists for many years had a very prosperous camp-ground in 
the county, and at one time more than one. 

Hampton is a small but sprightly village on the line of 
the M. & W. R. R., and Locust Grove and Stockbridge 
flourishing towns on the Southern. 

360 The Story of Georgia [Chap. Vlll. 


Newton county was formed from Henry, Walton and 
Jasper. The land was cheap and healthy, and, like Henry, 
it was soon settled by a very good class of plain people, 
most of whom came from the older counties. It was organ- 
ized in 182 1, and named in honor of the companion of 
Jasper, who assisted him in capturing the British guard 
near Savannah. The county site was called Covington after 
a brave of^cer in the war of 18 12. 

The people who settled Newton were in the main a very 
plain, uncultivated but worthy people. There were some 
persons of large wealth who took up the best lands in- the 
lower part of the county, and near Brick Store there was a 
very famous settlement of elegant people. They were 
wealthy, highly educated and refined. They had a hand- 
some church and an excellent school. In the neighborhood 
of Sandtovvn, Newborn and Starrsville there were other 
excellent settlements with good schools; but in the larger 
part of the county churches were small and schools were 
few and poor. 

Newton was selected as a seat for the manual labor 
school and of Emory College, and there were some im- 
provements in the section near the college and in the 
county around Covington; but the religious and educational 
advantages of the county on the, whole were for many 
years very limited. 

A number of very distinguished men have sprung from 
this county, to some of whom we have alluded. 

Covington, the county site, was laid out in 182 1, and 
was for many years a country town of respectable propor- 
tions, with good churches and good schools, and was at 
one time the seat of the Georgia Masonic Female College, 
which was quite a prosperous institution. The town has 
greatly improved in late years, and has an excellent 














Court House, Decatur, Ga. 

1820-1829.] AND THE GEORGIA PEOPLE. 361 

graded school, two railways and a street railway. It is a 
prohibition town and has an excellent population. 

Oxford, the seat of Emory College, is a beautiful village 
among the oaks, and is noted for the piety and intelligence 
of its people. 

The county of Newton was one of the first to enterprise 
cotton mills, and at Newton Factory and at Cedar Shoals 
there were mills fifty years ago, and at the present time 
there is quite a large and prosperous factory at Porter 
Dale, formerly Cedar Shoals. 

The county is rich in its quarries of most excellent 

The G. R. R. and the Middle Georgia and Atlantic road 
are in Newton, and the people of the county have the best 
railroad facilities. 

The Methodists, Baptists and Presbyterians have each a 
good following in the county. Newton is a prohibition 
county and is noted for the moral worth of its people. 

The county was opened for settlement in 1821, and in 
1830 there were 11,815 inhabitants; of these 3,003 were 
slaves. In 1850 there were only 8,109 whites and 5,187 

The first court held in the county vi^as in 1822, and the 
first grand jurors were : Solomon Graves, C. A. Carter, 
James Johnson, L. Dunn, R. J. Lane, Wm. Jackson, W. 
Whateley, H. Jones, Thos. Jones, Jno. Stocks, S. D. Echols, 
W. Fannin, F. H. Trammell, J. Bloodworth, Henry Lane, 
David Hodge, Robert Leake, John Stephens, G. B. Turner, 
Geo. Cunningham, Jno. F. Piper, James Hodge. 

Newton, as we have, seen, was selected as the seat of 
the manual labor school established by the Methodists, 
of which I speak more fully in another chapter. When 
it was decided to establish a college a large body of land 
was purchased by the trustees and Oxford, a college vil- 
lage, was laid out. It naturally drew to Georgia a fine body 


362 The Story of Georgia [Chap. VIII. 

of people, among them Dr. Few, of whom I have already 
spoken. Judge Longstreet and Dr. Means, all of whom 
had connection with the college. The mother of Justice 
L. Q. C. Lamar resided here; Judge Longstreet, wise and 
witty, Bishop Geo. F. Pierce and Bishop James O. An- 
drew had their homes here. 

While Bishop Andrew was living in this village he lost 
his first wife and married Mrs. Greenwood, who was a 
slaveholder. By circumstances beyond his control he had 
already become a slaveholder before his marriage with her. 
The laws of the M. E. Church forbade slaveholding on the 
part of its ministry if it could be avoided, and there had 
been no slave-owning bishop before this time. When by 
this marriage he became the husband of one who had a 
number of slaves there was much feeling aroused in the 
North, and he was arraigned, not for any wrong-doing, but 
for being connected with slavery. He wished to resign, 
but the Southern members would not permit him to do so, 
and eventually he was virtually deposed, and as a result of 
this the M. E. Church was divided and the Methodist 
Episcopal Church, South, was organized. 


Fayette, named after General Lafayette, was, at its lay- 
ing off, a large county. It was in many respects the coun- 
terpart of Henry. It was settled rapidly, but not so rap- 
idly as Henry or Monroe. It had, however, 5,000 people 
in it by 1830, and near 9,000 in 1850, nearly 2,000 of whom 
were slaves. 

The people who settled in the county were generally 
plain, poor people, who were industrious and economical 
and made a good livelihood, and, while many of them were 
primitive in their manners and illiterate, they were a worthy 
class of people, who led simple and unpretending lives. 

Fayetteville, the county site, was long a small village 


AND THE Georgia People. 363 

without railroad connections, but when the Atlanta and 
Florida road was constructed it was connected with Atlanta 
by rail, and is now (1898) a prosperous county town. 

White gives as the first grand jury : James Strawn, Wm. 
Morgan, Matthew Burge, Wm. Watts, Jos. Shaw, John Levi, 
Chas. Lisles, Jno. Hamilton, James Head, A. Tilghnam, 
Wm. Gilliland, William Powell, Larkin Lardner, Stephen 
Smith, Wm. Harkess, James Garrett, M. Glass, R. Barrow. 

Much of Fayette county is very poor, but there are some 
excellent farms on the Flint river and on the creeks, and 
while the people are not wealthy they live in comfort. 

The Baptists are perhaps the largest denomination of 
Christians, but the Methodists come close to them. 


There is such a general resemblance between the up-coun- 
try counties which adjoin each other that it is difficult to de- 
scribe one without describing the other. Dekalb, which 
was laid out in 1822 from Henry and Fayette, presents 
almost the same features as we have found in those coun- 
ties. It was laid out in 1822, and had over ten thousand 
people in it in 1830. 

Lands were cheap, and the homeless people in Georgia and 
other States were many and they crowded into these hills. 
As a general thing the lands were very poor and cheap, but 
along the creeks and brooks there were some fertile tracts, 
and along the South river some first quality lands. 

The village of Decatur was an important little town, in- 
habited by substantial people almost from its first settle- 

Fulton county was made from Dekalb, and the size of 
the county was lessened and the population much reduced. 
The first settlers in Dekalb, some of whom lived in what is 
now Fulton, were, according to White: Wm. Jackson, James 
Montgomery, Jno. R. Brock, Wm. Ezzard, Wm. Hill, Ste- 


The Story of Georgia 

[Chap. VIII, 

phen Mays, Reuben Cone, J. M. Smith, Wm. David, Mason 
Shewmake, John Simpson, Amos Towers, Jno. W. Fowler,' 
Edward Jones, Andrew Johnson, Jno. Turner, I. P. Carr, 
James W. Reeves, William Murphy, George Clifton, James 
Jones, Jesse Lane, Lachlan Johnson, William Terrell and 
George Brooks. 

Stone mountain, one of the wonders of Georgia, an 
immense pile of solid granite, is in this county. It is three 

Stone Mountain. 

thousand feet high and six or seven miles in circumference, 
and from its summit can be secured the most entrancing 
view of all the country round for sixty miles. The moun- 
tain is of granite, a peculiarly valuable kind suited for 
paving and building, and has greatly enriched those who 
own it. 

The growth of Atlanta and its proximity to Dekalb 
county have caused a number of villages to spring up in this 
county. Kirkwood, Clarkston, Stone Mountain, Lithonia 
and Ingleside are all flourishing villages, while Decatur has 
reached the proportions of quite a city. 

Dekalb has been the home of many excellent people, 


AND THE Georgia People. 365 

who have done the State good service. The Rev. John S. 
Wilson came to it a young man, and never left it, except to 
remove a few miles to Atlanta, till his death in old age. 
He was a teacher and a minister of the Presbyterian church. 
He was a man of great worth and of great influence. 

Charles Murphy, long a member of Congress and a law- 
yer of great ability and integrity, lived in Decatur for many 
years, and died there. 

James M. Calhoun, a sterling Whig, a worthy and gifted 
lawyer, lived here for many years. 

William Ezzard, once judge of the circuit court, a pure 
and upright man, and Dr. Calhoun, a physician of the old 
school, were among the prominent citizens of the little vil- 
lage in its early life. Gov. A. H. Colquitt, famous as a sol- 
dier, statesman and a Christian, lived and died in this county. 

Among its present citizens are Colonel Scott, who has, at 
his own expense, built the Agnes Scott Female Institute, a 
Presbyterian school; Colonel M. A. Candler, who has rep- 
resented his district in Congress; General J. B. Gordon, 
famous as a soldier and a statesman and senator. 

The Orphans Home of the North Georgia Conference is 
located near Decatur. There are over one hundred chil- 
dren who are being cared for by the North Georgia Con- 
ference. It is now under the care of the Rev. Howard L. 
Crumley, as agent, who has done much for it. It was the 
first orphanage of the Methodists, and its founder was the 
great Dr. Jesse Boring, who, in his old age, aroused the 
church to a sense of her duty to her orphans, and caused, 
by his earnest pleadings, at least ten homes to be erected 
in the various conferences. 


By the same act which made Henry and Fayette separate 
counties the county of Pike, north of Monroe and south of 
Fayette, was provided for. No two counties could have re- 

366 The Story of Georgia [Chap. VIIL 

sembled each other in every feature more than Pike and 
Fayette. In Pike there was a large area of pine woods, 
some fine land on the river and on the creeks, and in the 
west of the county some excellent bodies of red land, but 
the larger part of the county was gray land of moderate 

It was rapidly peopled and was settled, in the main, by 
people of moderate means, of whom, in 1830, there were 
six thousand, and, unlike the richer counties, it continued 
to grow and more than doubled its population in twenty 
years. In 1850 there were only four thousand negroes in 
the county, and they were equally distributed throughout 
the county, which then included Spalding. In 1890, after 
Spalding had long been given off, there were over sixteen 
thousand inhabitants still in the county. 

The early settlers, according to White, were: John Mar- 
shall, Isaac Cooper, B. Jordin, J. Gilder, S. Stephens, T. 
Mathews, E. Phillips, B. Grace, J. Weaver, W. Mobley, E. 
Mabry, W. Amos, E. Walker, W. Taylor, J. Farley, I. Gil- 
bert, J. Johnson, R. Myrick, J. Moore, General Daniel, Jas. 
Neal, Jno. Neal, J. B. Read, James Williamson, H. G. John- 
son, W. E. Mangum, Gideon Barnes, W. J. Milner, William 
Ellis and B. Orr. 

Perhaps no county in Georgia ever had a better class of 
settlers than those who came into Pike. But few of them 
were people of large means, but they were industrious, 
pious and thrifty. The country was healthy and the land 
was productive, and there was a general prosperity from the 
first settlement. 

Its first county site was called Newnan; but in 1825 
Zebulon was laid out and made the county site. It was at 
one time a town of some importance. After the railroad 
skirted the county and Griffin was built up, the little village 
declined and never recovered its position. A railroad now 

1820-1829.] AND THE GEORGIA 1'eOPLE. 367 

passes through it from Atlanta to Fort Valley, and it is 

Barnesville is quite an enterprising and energetic little 
city on one side of Pike. It has long been famous for its 
excellent schools, and Gordon Institute is one of the largest 
and most successful of high schools. The school is coedu- 
cational; it has an elegant equipment and a very large 
patronage. There are excellent churches in the city for 
white and colored people, and a very admirable popula- 
tion. In addition to its school advantages, it has become a 
manufacturing town of some importance. Its famous car- 
riage factories, its knitting-mills and its cotton-mills give 
employment to many hands. 

Milner is a respectable village not far from Barnesville, 
on the Central railroad. 

The Midland road, which passes through the western 
side of Pike, has developed a new section of the county, 
and there are some thriving villages on it. 

Pike has been the home of a sterling class of business 
men, but has not been famous for its men of political emi- 
nence. It was the residence of an Irish merchant, Samuel 
Mitchell, who bought the lot upon which Atlanta stands 
and laid out the city. 


Butts, which was named from a brave captain of that 
name who lost his life in a fight with the Indians in Ala- 
bama, and whose county site was named in honor of Andrew 
Jackson, was laid off from Newton and Henry in 1826, and 
four years afterward had in its boundary 4,000 people. It 
has the Ocmulgee on its eastern border, and has some 
good, strong red land on the river; but the larger part of 
the county is of light, gray soil. It was never, except near 
the river, a very fertile country; but the land was easily 
tilled and cheap, and the county was peopled by a class of 

368 The Story of Georgia [Chap. vill. 

industrious, plain people who worked their own farms and 
led independent lives. 

For many years Butts was some distance from the rail- 
way and was very far behind some of the contiguous 
counties in its advancement; but the building of the South- 
ern railway gave new life to the county. Jackson, from 
being an insignificant hamlet, has become a sprightly county 
town ; and Flovilla, near Indian Springs, a place of con- 
siderable trade. 

The churches for a long time were very few and very 
much neglected, until the railroad came; but since that 
event and the establishing of the public school system the 
change for the better has been very decided. 

In 1830 there were nearly 5,000 people in Butts; in'1850 
there were 6,000, and in 1890 there were 10,500. 

Indian Springs, the most noted watering-place in Geor- 
gia, is located in Butts. A small stream of pure, strong 
sulphur water trickles from a rock, and is said by many 
who have tested it to be invaluable as a remedy for 
divers diseases, and has been so regarded for over seventy 
years. It was at this place that the treaty of 18 18 was 
made, and the famous treaty between Mcintosh and his fol- 
lowers and Messrs. Campbell and Meriwether was made in 

Butts, in its most fertile part near the river, has had the 
same history as Jasper and Monroe. It was very produc- 
tive and became the property of large planters, and is now 
largely in the hands of negro tenants; but the poorer lands 
are still held by white owners who live on them, as the 
white population has never diminished but steadily in- 

There has been no county in which there has been a 
more gratifying improvement in the building of churches 
and the founding of schools. In Jackson, Indian Springs, 
Flovilla and in the rural parts of the county there have 



1820-1829.] AND THE GEORGIA PeOPLE. 369 

been established good schools, and handsome and conve- 
nient churches have been erected. 

The county was first a part of Monroe and was settled as 
early as any part of its mother county. The first inhab- 
itants must, therefore, be found among those who came to 

The Hon. David J. Bailey, long a member of Congress 
and a man of influence, for many years had his home in 
Jackson, but the county has been so small and remote that 
it has had few noted men. 


Campbell county was named in honor of Duncan G. 
Campbell, and was laid out in 1827. It was not thickly 
settled for some time, and in 1830 had in it only 3,000 
people. In 1850 its population had but little more than 
doubled, and of these 1,500 were slaves. The value of the 
lands was not great. The hills were many and were sterile; 
but on the creeks and the river the land was fertile. While 
the land was poor, it was moderately productive, and the 
people were plain and industrious, and so made a good 

There was some excellent land near Palmetto, and a very 
prosperous village was built up there; and at Fairburn, 
nearer Atlanta, there is another sprightly village. 

The water-power o'n the Sweetwater was very fine, and 
one of the most successful factories in Georgia was built on 
that stream. 

The early settlers, as given by White, were the McClar- 
tys, Stewarts, Lathams, Beaverses, Longinos, Davenports, 
Wattses, Cochrans, Whites, Kolbs, Pauletts, Skeenes, Pen- 
ningtons, Bullards, Bryans, Hightowers, Hopkinses, Smiths, 
Jenningses, Silveys and Thorntons. 

The first grand jury, which met at Campbellton in 1829, 


870 The Story of Georgia [Chap, vtil 

was composed of Fulton Sheats, Jere Sampler, I. D. 
Crumpton, D. Hall, S. Baggett, H. Bird, J. Turner, Q. Daw- 
son, S. Green, C. Field, George Haines, M. Anthony, T. 
Hill, I. Crow, D. D. Smith, I. West, E. Dorsett, I. Wise, 
I. Gresham, I. Hayne, I. Dorsett, I. Gray, Moses Benson. 
The fact that the larger part of the county was some dis- 
tance from the railroad and there was no considerable town 
in it has had the effect of drawing to Atlanta quite a num- 
ber of the leading families of Campbell. There has beea 
too little attention paid to education; but there has been for 
years a high school at Fairburn and one at Palmetto, and 
the usual common schools are found in the rural parts of 
the county. The people are generally religious and moral, 
and generally belong to the Baptist and Methodist Churches. 


On the west of Campbell is the county of Carroll, 
named for Chas. Carroll of CarroUton. It was laid out in 

It is in the main a county of second-class land, but there 
is some excellent land in it, and early in its history there 
was discovered a rich deposit of gold in a part of the 
county, and a village sprang up which was known as Villa 
Rica. A large number of those who came to dig gold re- 
mained in the county as permanent citizens and opened, 

There was but little inducement for men with many 
slaves to turn from the rich cotton lands south of Carroll 
to settle in it, and so as late as 1850, when the county was 
very large, there were only one thousand one hundred, 
slaves in its borders. The larger part of the people owned 
their own homes, but owned no slaves. The population 
grew rapidly from natural increase as well as from immi- 
gration, and in 1890 there were twenty-two thousand in- 


AND THE Georgia People. 371 

. The opening of the railroad from Griffin to Carrollton 
was followed by the building of the railway from Car- 
rollton to Chattanooga, and then by the Georgia Pacific, 
which runs through the county. These have given it the 
best railway advantages, and perhaps no county in the 
State has advanced more rapidly in every respect than 
Carroll since the war. Carrollton, from being a small vil- 
lage, has become a town of considerable importance. 

Religion and education have advanced with the progress 
of the county, and now there are good schools and good 
churches in every part of it. 

Whitesburg is a village in the east of the county, near 
to the Hutchinson cotton-mills, where there is a high 
school largely attended. The school is under the control 
of the Methodists, and has a small endowment left by 
Arthur Hutchinson, an Irish manufacturer. There are ex- 
cellent schools in Villa Rica, Carrollton and Bowden, and 
along the lines of railway in a number of villages there are 
good schools. 

Carroll is on the border of the State, and at its first set- 
tlement was very remote from market; land was very cheap 
and the population very small. 

In 1830, when the county was much larger than it is 
now, the population was only three thousand four hundred 
and sixteen, of which only four hundred and eighty-seven 
were slaves. 

It was the center of a mining excitement, and many wild 
and lawless men came into it. There was an organized 
body of horse thieves known as the Pony Club, at one time 
in the county, who carried on their nefarious work with 
impunity, and murders were fearfully common near the 
mines, while gambling and drunkenness sought no conceal- 
ment; but with the establishment of the courts and the 
faithful work of the churches the lawlessness of the people 
has long since disappeared, and no county has a higher 

372 The Story of Georgia [Chap. vill. 

standard of morality and religion than this county at the 
present time. 


In 1 82 1 a county was formed adjoining Pulaski, Bibb 
and Crawford, which was called Houston, in honor of the 
distinguished governor of that name. The county site was 
called Perry, after Commodore Perry. 

There was a large part of the county in the pine woods, 
and much of it in the rotten limestone region known as the 
black lands. The lower part of the county was remark- 
ably fertile, and while to white people it was very un- 
healthy, it was not specially so to negroes, and it drew to 
it at its first settlement many of the wealthy planters from 
the older counties, who opened large plantations and who 
were very prosperous. They often had their homes in 
Bibb and Monroe, or in the pine belt of the county. Much 
of this pine belt was productive and the valley of the Flint 
river adjoined it, and it soon had a settlement of excellent 
people, who formed a village called Fort Valley, probably 
because of its having been the site of one of the early 
Indian forts. The land about the village lay well and was 
quite productive, and when the railroad reached it the sec- 
tion was thickly settled. 

It was discovered that the country around the village 
was admirably adapted to fruit culture, and many acres 
have been put in fruit trees, and fruit is raised in great 
quantity for distant markets. The desirableness of the 
land to the orchardist has led many settlers from the west 
and north to buy fruit farms, and the need of crates and 
baskets for shipping fruit has led to the founding of fac- 
tories to provide them, and the little city has become the 
center of a number of small factories and has a good trade 
in a variety of lines. 

1820-1829.] AND THE GEORGIA PEOPLE. 373 

Flint river is within a few miles of the city, and there arc 
large plantations and stock-farms on it, and in proximity 
to it large cotton plantations. 

The building of the South Georgia and Florida railroad, 
which passes directly through the county, has developed 
some flourishing villages, in which there is considerable 

The population in 1830 was 5,175 free and 2,194 slaves; 
in 1850 there were 6,526 free and 9,924 slaves. The free 
population in 1830 was almost as great as it was twenty 
years after. 

The people of Houston have always put a high estimate 
on education. There were chartered academies at Perry, 
Fort Valley, Henderson and Hayneville at an early day, 
and many of the sons and daughters of the planters were 
sent abroad for an education. 

Mr. Everett, of Fort Valley, a very wealthy Methodist, 
came to the rescue of the Wesleyan Female College when 
it was in distress, and by a generous contribution, or rather 
by the purchase of scholarships, succeeded in saving it from 
sale and, possibly, failure. Since the war the villages along 
the line of railway have become centers for good schools, 
while in Fort Valley there is a graded school of excellent 

The Methodists and Baptists are the principal denomi- 
nations of Christians, and they came to Houston with its 
first settlement, and during the pastorate of Rev. Samuel 
Anthony, on the Perry circuit in its early days, there were 
sixteen hundred additions to the Methodist church alone in. 
one year in this and the adjoining counties of Dooly and 

The county had become by 1850 one of the largest cot- 
ton-growing counties in the State, and there were very large 
plantations and a great many slaves. The rich bottoms on 
the Flint and the black lands below Perry were occupied bv 

374 The Story of Georgia [Chap. viir. 

large planters who had a large number of negroes, but after 
the war the negroes deserted these black lands and they be- 
came unprofitable to the planter and declined in value, until 
plantations which were worth before the war ten thousand 
dollars were not salable at one-tenth the price. 

It is hardly possible to give a list of early settlers in any 
of the counties of this period, since they were settled by 
such a number at near the same time, but Mr. White gives 
as among the first settlers: Abner Wimberly, James Clark, 
David Clark, Allen Sutton, Allen Williams, M. Joiner, 
Thomas Gilbert, Mr. Kelly, Colonel Howell Cobb, Lewis 
Hunt, Daniel Dupree, Jacob Little, James Everett, Rev. D. 
McKenzie, Thos. Scott, D. W. Mann, H. W. Kaley, J. Pol- 
lock, A. Wingate and F. Pattillo. 

These were among the first, and there was at an early 
day a large immigration from South Carolina of wealthy 
slave-owners, who settled in the black lands of the county 
and who made very great fortunes. 

After the war, as we have seen, the rich country of the 
prairies and rotten limestone region was, to a large extent, 
deserted, and the pine woods sections greatly improved, 
but in late years there has been some improvement in the 
black land country. 

There was a cotton-mill of small size established in Hous- 
ton at an early day which has now been abandoned, and 
there are now no cotton-mills in the county. 

There are few counties with better railroad facilities and 
in which there has been greater development than in Hous- 
ton during the last few years. 


Dooly was in the upper part of the purchase of 1818 and 
was included in Early, but was made into a separate county 
in 1 82 1 and named in honor of Judge Dooly. It had in its 
bounds what are now several large counties. 

1820-1829.] AND THE GEORGIA PEOPLE. 375 

There were sundry rich hummocks on the creeks and 
some fine bottom land on the river, and these were soon 
occupied by cotton-planters. The pine woods were re- 
garded as barrens, and when oak and hickory lands were 
worth ten to twenty dollars an acre the pine lands were held 
at from fifty cents to one dollar. 

In 1887 a new railroad was constructed from Macon, Ga., 
to Palatka, Fla., and one from Americus to Savannah. 
These railways opened up the pine woods, mills were erected, 
turpentine farms opened, and prosperous towns sprang up. 
Parmers began to cultivate the land from which the saw- 
mill men had cut the timber and opened productive farms. 

The story of Dooly is much the same with all the wire- 
grass counties, only modified by the fact that Dooly had a 
larger area of rich land on its creeks than most of them, 
and there was from the first a larger number of wealthy 
people, and the growth of the towns had been greater. 
Vienna, Ashburn and Cordele are places of considerable 

While the upper part of Dooly has long been settled, 
and while there were churches and schools in Vienna and 
Drayton from the early twenties, the pine woods were sadly 
neglected by the preachers and teachers for many years. 
The Primitive Baptists and a few scattering Methodists 
were all the religious people in this section, and a few log 
churches the only houses of worship; but with the coming 
of the railroad ancrthe influx of new people churches and 
schools sprang up in all directions, and now Dooly is 
abreast with any of the counties in the provision she has 
made for the improvement of her people. 


The county of Monroe, which was named in honor of 
James Monroe, was laid out in 1821 and the land distributed 
by lottery. It lay abreast of Jones and Jasper, which had 

376 The Story of Georgia [Chap. viil. 

been settled for nearly twenty-five years. They were 
already crowded with inhabitants and the first settlers had 
grown restless and longed for new lands, and when Monroe 
was opened they came rushing into it in great troops. 

It was a magnificent domain when it was first laid out, 
stretching from above Griffin to below Macon, but was soon 
divided into sundry counties; indeed, they were ordered be- 
fore Monroe could be organized, and the county stands at 
present almost as it did when it was organized in 1822. 

It is now bounded on the east by the Ocmulgee river; 
the Towaliga, a river of some size, flows through its north- 
eastern corner, and it is well watered with large creeks and 
many brooks. It does not differ from other middle Georgia 
counties, and, as is common in them, it has fine red land, 
rich bottoms and some gray thin land, and in the northern 
part a considerable pine belt. 

The county when opened was accessible and healthy. 
The land was given away to Georgia people, and it was 
soon very thickly settled. The fortunate drawer of the 
land in most cases moved directly to it, or sold to one who 

Monroe was settled largely by Georgia people. It never 
had any of the features of the frontier, except the single 
one of log cabins, which were a necessity in all new 
counties in those days. The people who came to Monroe 
were so many that it was more thickly neopled a few years 
after it was settled than it is now. Ii^seven years there 
were 16,000 in the county. In 1850, thirty years after it 
was settled, there were a thousand more negroes than whites 
in the county. 

The history of agriculture in Monroe is but the same 
story told of the older counties east of the Ocmulgee. It 
was at first settled by people of moderate means who had 
but few slaves and small farms, and oftentimes there were 
several families on one lot of land. Then these small 

1820-1829.] AND THE GEORGIA PeOPLE. 377 

farmers sold out their possessions and went westward, and 
the wealthy slave-owners bought their farms and made 
large plantations. Negroes increased; for the country was 
healthy, and they were well cared for. As the planter 
was anxious for quick returns from his fields, the grand 
forests were cut down and large cotton fields opened. The 
land was hilly and the soil easily washed away, and many 
of the large plantations were soon reduced to a state of 
almost barrenness. Fields were worn out and washed into 
huge gullies and then given over to the old-field pine and 
the Bermuda grass. The planter found it difficult to make 
any clear profit on his products, but comforted himself with 
the thought that he had such a valuable lot of young slaves. 
He found himself, when they were freed and commercially 
valueless, with his old fields and his decaying buildings as 
his only estate. There were years when it seemed as if the 
old county, once so rich, would never rally; but there came 
a better day. The lands were divided into smaller bodies, 
the hills terraced, the farming diversified, and the old pine 
fields were brought into cultivation; and now perhaps 
Monroe is really more prosperous than ever. But much of 
what was once the best part of the county when white 
people had beautiful country homes is given up to negro 
tenants; and, as is the case in all the middle Georgia coun- 
ties where the landed estates are large, there is a tendency 
to leave the country for the town. This, however, is only 
true of that part of the county in which there were planta- 
tions and not farms. In the pine woods and the gray lands 
the farms were small and the inhabitants many. The 
people had but few slaves, the larger number none. They 
lived in log houses and in a very plain way. They spun 
and wove their own clothing and worked their own fields. 
They had not been cotton-raisers before the war except on 
a very small scale, and their main effort was to raise sup- 
plies for home use. When the war ended and the negroes 

378 The Story of Gteorgia [Chap, VIII. 

were freed and commercial fertilizers were introduced 
largely, it was in Monroe as it was elsewhere, and these 
poor sections of the county became the best. 

The county was a very large one and was thickly peo- 
pled, in the rich red lands by negro slaves and in the pine 
woods and gray lands by white people. It was very rough, 
and roads in the early days were very bad; and, as there 
was no navigable river, it was decided to build a railway. 

The first railway projected in the State was the one 
from the new city of Macon to the new town of Forsyth. 
After much struggling it was built. Years afterward a part 
of the county on the eastern side was traversed by the 
Southern railway, and a section which had been thickly 
settled but which had become thinly peopled with white 
people was brought into communication with the outside 
world. Some sprightly villages, with good churches and 
schools, have sprung up beside the new railroad. 

Forsyth, named in honor of John Forsyth, was made the 
county site when the county was organized. It was too 
near Macon to become a place of great commercial impor- 
tance, but up to the war was a thrifty town with three 
churches for white people and as many for negroes, a high 
school for males and a female college. The Monroe rail- 
road, now the Central, reached Forsyth in the early forties, 
and it was the first interior town in the State to have a rail- 
way connection with a navigable river. 

After the war, in common with all middle Georgia towns, 
Forsyth began to make a forward movement, and it is now 
a very prosperous little city. There is a very fine court- 
house. The Baptists have a handsome college. There is 
a large graded school. The Baptists, Methodists and Pres- 
byterians have very neat and comfortable churches. There 
is a cotton-mill, an oil-mill and other enterprises. The 
planters have moved in from the country to get school privi- 
leges, and the population has largely increased. 

1820-1829.] AND THE GEORGIA PEOPLE. 379 

The county is a prohibition one, and is noted for its 
sobriety and morality. In the extreme southwest of the 
county the lands were very fine, and a body of wealthy 
planters settled a village where they could educate their 
children and named it Culloden. They were mainly Meth- 
odists, and were rigid advocates of total abstinence. They 
had an act passed forbidding the sale of liquor within a mile 
of the village. They erected the first brick church built by 
Methodists in Georgia. They established a high school 
and opened the celebrated Culloden Female Seminary, over 
which Dr. John Darby presided. The little village was six- 
teen miles from a railway, and sank into a decline; but the 
building of the Macon and Birmingham and the Atlanta 
and Florida railroads, both of which pass through it, has 
given it a new vigor. 

The people of Monroe were of the best class of Georgia 
people. They came from Hancock, Baldwin, Greene, Mor- 
gan, Jones and Jasper. 

The settlers of Monroe were a truly religious people, 
and the first thing they did when they reached their new 
homes was to build log houses of worship. 

The Baptists were very numerous among the first comers, 
and as they had not divided at that time into the Primitive 
and Missionary bodies, they were possibly the most numer- 
ous body of Christians in the county. They established 
churches in all sections of the county and had a large fol- 

The Methodists came with the first settlement and soon 
had churches in every part of the county. At one time 
there were three camp-grounds belonging to these in dif- 
ferent parts of the county. They had a missionary to the 
negroes, a stationed preacher in Forsyth and two circuit 
preachers in the county in i860. 

It was in Monroe that the Congregational Methodist 

380 The Story of Georgia [Chap. vili. 

church, which is Methodist in doctrine and Baptist in 
church government, was organized. 

The Presbyterians had two churches in the county, but 
were not numerous. 

After the division of the Baptist church the Primitive 
branch was very strong and wealthy and so continues to the 
present time. 

Monroe has produced some very distinguished Georgians. 
Her list of public men in church and State is a long one 
for a county which has been more a county of plain, 
thrifty, energetic planters than of lawyers or politicians, 
and few villages have sent out so many distinguished 
men as the little village of CuUoden. Here Governor 
James M. Smith was born and received his early education. 
In this village the Hon. Alexander Speer, formerly the 
secretary of state in South Carolina and a famous Meth- 
odist preacher, had his home, and from this village his two 
gifted sons. Judge Alexander M. Speer of the Georgia 
Supreme Court, and Dr. Eustace W. Speer, one of the most 
distinguished of the preachers in Georgia, went out to 
begin public life. Colonel N. J. Hammond, so famous as 
a lawyer and a statesman, began life in CuUoden, and Dr. 
W. F. Cook and his brother Dr. J. O. A. Cook were brought 
up here. Judge E. G. Cabaniss, long a judge and one of 
the most gifted and excellent of men, lived in Forsyth. 
Judge R. P. Trippe, long a judge in the supreme court, 
a member of Congress, lived in Forsyth for many years. 

The county has been noted for her excellent schools. 
The Baptist Female College in Forsyth has been for fifty 
years a good school, and some of the most distinguished 
Baptist preachers in Georgia have been professors in it. 
There was a Methodist male school, Hillard Institute, in 

Early Cleveland was famous for the excellent private 

1820-1829.] AND THE GEORGIA PeOPLE. ' 381 

academy which he conducted for many years in the county, 
and the Rev. Thomas G. Scott, either as teacher or as 
county school commissioner, spent his life in educational 
work in this county. 

The celebrated seminary in Culloden had a fame which 
went beyond the State. 


When it was decided in 1822 to lay off a city opposite 
Fort Hawkins, a new county was a necessity, and Bibb, to 
contain a part of Jones and a part of the projected county 
of Monroe, was decided on. It was to be called Bibb, 
after Senator Wm. Wyatt Bibb of Elbert, and the county 
site Macon after that staunch Republican, Nathaniel Macon 
of North Carolina. 

This new county when made had in it some very excel- 
lent land and much whose agricultural value was very 
small. The upper part, bordering on Monroe and reaching 
down to within a few miles of Macon, while very hilly, was 
very fertile. This was soon taken up by large slave-owners 
who came from Baldwin, Putnam and Jones. They formed 
a community of wealthy planters, many of them kins- 
people, and were of the best class of Georgians. There 
were but few small landholders among them, and they soon 
sold out their farms and went west. 

The same story told of these people elsewhere is true of 
Bibb. Plantations grew, lands were worn, and planters 
took the place of farmers. As their wealth increased, in 
many cases they removed to the city and left their planta- 
tions in charge of overseers. When the railroads reached 
southwestern Georgia many of them settled plantations 
there and removed the larger number of their slaves to 
these new fields. The usual changes passed over the social 
features of the county: negroes and plantations took the 

382 The Story of Georgia [Chap. viil. 

place of white people and farms, schools went down and 
churches were thinly attended. 

The pine lands south and west of Macon were for a con- 
siderable time thinly settled and by poor people; but the 
lands were healthy and the products of small crops found 
a ready market in Macon, and even before the war there 
was much thrift in a number of the piny woods homes. 
After the war and the building of the railways these people 
prospered more largely and some good villages sprang up 
where a few years before there had been only sterile pine 

The prosperity of Macon has had its effect on the coun- 
try around it, and market-gardens and dairies have been 

As I shall give in a future chapter a sketch of Macon 
there is much which concerns the country which will be 
then brought under review. The first settlers could hardly 
be given, for the county was scarcely laid out before it was 
thickly settled. 

The religious privileges of the Bibb county people have 
always been good. The Baptists, both Missionary and 
Primitive, have had a large following, and some of the best 
country churches in Georgia have been found in the rural 
districts of this county. 

While the city of Macon has always had the best of 
schools, the country around it was not for many years so 
well favored. In the first settlement of the county there 
was an academy in the Holt and Myrick settlement, nearly 
four miles from Macon, known as the Lake academy; one 
in the northern part of the county, in the Lamar settlement, 
known as Washington academy, and one near Liberty 
chapel in the pine woods. 

There were besides these a few schools which were of in- 
ferior grade, but when the common school system was adopted 
by the county school facilities were provided for all classes, 


AND THE Georgia People. 383 

black and white, In every section of the county; and now in 
no part of the State is there better provision made for the 
education of all classes. 

The nine railroads which terminate at Macon have led to 
the establishment on their lines of sundry small villages, 
until the country has been well dotted with them — Holton, 
Mims, Rutland, Walden and Lizella are hamlets of small 
size on the railroads. 


By the same act in 1822 by which Bibb was made a 
county another was ordered in the new purchase, which was 
called Crawford in honor of the celebrated William Harris 

The county site was called Knoxville, in honor of Gen- 
eral Knox, Washington's secretary of war. 

It adjoined Monroe on the north, and a limited part of 
its upper territory was of the same kind of land as that 
which belonged to Bibb and Monroe. There was a valley 
of rich land along the Flint, and some rich bottoms on 
some of the creeks; and there was a remarkable hill known 
as Rich Hill, which, rising in the midst of a pine forest, was 
itself a great deposit of fossils and was the richest of lime- 
stone land. The rest of the county was all pine forest, and 
much of it richly deserved the name of pine-barrens. 

The population varied with the land. Along the river 
were extensive plantations, and planters with many slaves 
owned them. These plantations were rarely occupied by 
the planters themselves, but were in charge of overseers. 
From one hundred to five hundred negroes were often on a 
single estate. 

The land was very fertile, but was subject to overflow, 
and was leveed for miles; but during the war the levees 
broke, and after it was over the negroes moved out of the 
swamps, and the river floods were so common that after a 

384 The Story of Georgia [Chap. Vlll. 

vain effort to cultivate the rich lands profitably, they were 
at length to a large extent given up to cattle ranches. 

The people in the pine woods section of Crawford were, 
many of them, poor people living on poor land and in a poor 
way. They had but few religious or educational advan- 
tages. Knoxville was a very small hamlet, with a few 
families of cultivation and wealth residing in it; and its 
proximity to Macon, its distance from a railroad and the 
general poverty of the country around it prevented any- 
thing like growth until the railroad came close to it. It is 
now somewhat improved. 

Crawford had in it in 1850 as many negroes as whites, 
but they were owned very largely by the wealthy people 
who owned the river plantations. 

The strong red lands north of Knoxville and adjoining 
Monroe had the usual history of such lands at this period. 
They were at once occupied and soon impoverished and 
sold by the owners to some near-by planter who absorbed 
them into his great plantation, until much of the land was 
owned by a few people. 

It was in Crawford that remarkable man Colonel Benja- 
min Hawkins, the famous Indian agent, lived and died. 
The old agency on the Flint river was for many years his 
home, and here he ruled the Creek nation with an imperial 
but kindly sway. Descended from an aristocratic English 
family who resided in North Carolina, he was educated 
at Princeton College, and while there became a proficient 
in the French language. He entered the army during the 
Revolution and became a member of Washington's staff, 
where his knowledge of French made him useful. He was 
elected after the war senator from North Carolina, and 
Washington, when he was president, selected him as com- 
missioner to treat with the Indians. He became fascinated 
with Indian life, and accepted the position of agent of the 
Creeks and settled among them. He was a man of great 



' '^''L 


"<^. ># J. 


5T. J03E.FM5 CMUR.CM, y^?<kCO/N. Ci>K. 

First Presbytkrian Church, Atlanta. 

1820-1829.] AND THE GEORGIA PEOPLE. 385 

wealth and large enterprise as well as of fine culture, and con- 
ducted extensive farming and pastoral interests in the nation, 
at the same time directing his efforts to elevate the people 
among whom he lived. He had large interests in Crawford 
and a comfortable residence at the old agency on the Flint. 
Here, as a kind of satrap, he lived for many years, revered 
and beloved by the wild tribes who knew how implicitly 
they could trust him. While his home was here he died.* 

Judge Samuel Hall, judge of the supreme court, was 
from this county, and Judge Simmons, at present chief jus- 
tice, was born and brought up here. 

The religious and educational advantages of the county 
before the war were few. The leading denominations were 
the Missionary and Primitive Baptists. 


Upson county, which adjoins Monroe and Crawford on 
the west and Pike on the north, was laid out from Crawford 
and Pike in 1824 and named in honor of Stephen Upson, a 
distinguished lawyer of Oglethorpe county. 

Thomaston, its county site, was laid out in 1825. 

Upson has a good deal of fine bottom land immediately 
on the Flint river and some fertile bodies on the various 
creeks; but the main body of the land is like that of Pike 
and Monroe — very hilly red land easily washed away. It 
was productive when first cleared; and, as the climate was 
good, soon after the county was laid out it was settled by a 
body of pushing planters. The red lands were cleared of 
their magnificent trees. The hills were high, and the wash- 
ing rains denuded them of their soil, and much of the land 
became sterile; and while Upson had 7,913 people in it in 
1830 (only six years after it was made a county), in 1850 

♦ Wheeler's History of North Carolina ; Chappel's Pamphlet. 

386 The Story of Georgia [Chap. Vlll. 

the population had only reached 9,000, and in 1890 there 
were only 12,000 in the county of all races. 

Much of the land was badly worn, and many of the land- 
owners after the war sought the villages and towns as places- 
of residence, and the negroes were tenants in the country 
where their fathers had been slaves. The rural white pop- 
ulation, as in all these middle Georgia counties, decreased, 
but the villages all increased in the number of inhabitants.. 

Upson was one of the first of the middle Georgia coun- 
ties to enter upon manufacturing on an extensive scale, and 
there was established in the county several large cotton- 
mills at an early date. The Waymanville factory, Rogers 
factory and Respess factory were cotton-mills of consider- 
able importance long before the war. Some of these were 
burned by the Federals who desolated Upson on a raid, 
but some escaped. The Waymanville factory is still stand- 
ing, and has been for fifty years a prosperous mill. 

The town of Thomaston was, like most of the interior 
towns, a place of little importance until after the war, but 
is now a thriving and prosperous little city. It has two 
railways and is an educational center, with an excellent 
institute and two handsome churches, the Methodist and 

The county has always been noted for its decidedly re- 
ligious character. The Primitive and Missionary Baptists 
are strong, but the Methodists are, perhaps, most numer- 
ous. There are good churches all over the county, and a 
successful camp-meeting has been held for many years near 
or at the Rock, a village eight miles from Thomaston. 


The counties of Wilkes, Warren and Hancock, which ad- 
joined each other, were all large counties, and in 1825 it 
was decided to take a corner from each and make a new 
county. This was done and this new county was called 



Taliaferro, after Colonel and Judge Taliaferro, and the 
county site was called Crawfordville in honor of W. H. 

This very small county has had the same history as its 
parent counties and it is needless to repeat it here. 

The first Roman Catholic church in a rural section, and 
perhaps the first in any section of Georgia, was built at 
Locust Grove, afterward Raytown, in this county, then 

Taliaferro has been rendered famous by being the county 
in which Alexander H. Stephens was born and the county 
in which he is buried. He bought the little farm his father, 
who was a country teacher, owned, and it was his residence 
when he died. His father was a Pennsylvanian of a correct, 
if of limited, education; a country school-teacher, a man of 
great integrity and of very small estate. He was living on 
this little farm of one hundred acres when he was taken 
violently ill, and died, leaving his son Alexander an almost 
penniless orphan. The guardians of the boy gave him his 
first schooling in this county, and his academic training in 
Washington. He was graduated at Athens. When he be- 
gan the practice of law he settled at Crawfordville. It was 
then a new village in a new county. He was soon sent to 
the Legislature, and early evinced his v^ondrous power as 
an orator and his astuteness as a statesman. His career as 
the great commoner, both before and after the war, is too 
well known to be told here. He died in Atlanta while gov- 
ernor of the State, but was buried at his lifelong home. 

The little county was a healthy one, and negroes in- 
creased very rapidly, with the usual result, and in 1850 
there were more negroes than whites in the county. 


When the lands secured by the Indian Springs treaty in 
1825 were opened for settlement a large county was formed 

388 The Story of Georgia [Chap. Vlll. 

on the western border of the State, including what is now a 
number of counties, and was named Troup in honor of the 
fiery governor, and its county site was called Lagrange after 
the home of the Marquis de Lafayette, who had but re- 
cently made a tour through the United States. 

This county has been repeatedly divided until it has 
reached its present size. There were few sections of the 
State superior to it in attractiveness and fertility. The oft- 
told story of middle Georgia is applicable to Troup. Much 
of it was very rugged and very rich. The water was pure, 
the air free from malaria, the forests magnificent, and on 
the Chattahoochee and the various creeks there were bot- 
toms of great fertility. There was no part of the county 
sterile and it was rapidly settled, not by poor people, who 
are generally the first in a new country, but by well-to-do 
planters from eastern Georgia, who opened large cotton 
plantations at their first coming. 

Although the first settlers came into Troup in 1826, by 
1830 it had a population of six thousand. Lagrange, when 
Sherwood published his first gazetteer in 1829, had only a 
court-house, a jail, a Methodist church and seven resi- 
dences, and in 1833 was large enough to entertain the 
Georgia annual conference. 

The lands were so productive that they were at once oc- 
cupied by large planters, and soon after the settlement of 
the county cotton was sent in wagons to Columbus and 
Montgomery by hundreds of bales. 

The log house, the first in all new counties, soon gave 
way, and a few years after the settlement of the county 
there were handsome residences in all sections of it. 

The same methods of planting which had resulted in the 
almost desolation of the older counties of Georgia were at 
once adopted in Troup. The people of moderate means 
were soon bought out by the large planters, the forests 
were cut down, cotton was planted largely and almost ex- 

1820-1829.] AND THE GEORGIA PEOPLE. 389 

clusively, and the lands washed away until, when the mag- 
nificent county ought to have been in its prime, much of it 
was counted as worn out. 

Many of the planters lived in the town of Lagrange and 
their great plantations were in charge of overseers. 

There were in 1850 seven thousand eight hundred and 
thirty-one whites and over nine thousand negroes in the 

In no county in the State was there so much attention 
given to education, especially to the education of girls. A 
female high school, from which sprang the Lagrange 
Female College, was established by Thomas Stanley in La- 
grange as early as 1833. The Montgomerys afterward 
built from this foundation the Lagrange Female College, 
which became in the course of time one of the most famous 
schools in the State. It was afterward sold to the Meth- 
odists and is still a flourishing institution. 

The Rev. Milton E. Bacon established a female college 
under Baptist auspices not long after the Lagrange Female 
College was chartered, and carried it to a high degree of suc- 
cess. Both of these colleges were destroyed and both 

The education of males attracted as much attention at 
an early day, and the Rev. Carlisle P. Beman, the famous 
teacher, taught a male school in the village, and the Rev. 
Otis Smith had a classical school for boys at Brownwood, 
where Dr. Brown had at one time his female seminary. 

The religious privileges of Troup have always been of a 
very high order. The Methodists were early in the county, 
and a Methodist church was one of the first buildings in 
the then village of Lagrange. The Baptists had a large 
membership and the Presbyterians a strong church. Each 
of these denominations had good churches in Lagrange as 
early as 1835. The wooden churches of the Baptists and 
Methodists have long since been replaced by neat brick 

390 The Story op Georgia [Chap. vili. \ 

structures, and the Methodists have a third church on the i 
same lot. The most distinguished preachers of each of 
these three denominations have filled the pulpits in La- i 
grange. , 

The city has become in late years quite a manufacturing ; 
town, and with its two railways, its colleges and its com- ; 
merce, it has become one of the leading cities of that section 
of Georgia. ; 

West Point, immediately on the Chattahoochee river, is ; 
a town of considerable importance. It has a large graded I 
school, several churches and some large factories near by, | 
and does considerable business. | 

Hogansville, on the other side of Lagrange, is a village ; 
of some size, with an excellent population. j. 

The county of Troup has long been famous for its public ; 
men and its brilliant and beautiful women. It drew to it j 
at its first settlement men of culture and influence. Julius '■ 
Alford, known as the war-horse of the Democracy; Walter . 
T. Colquitt, the great stump-speaker as well as advocate 
and judge; Hugh A. Haralson, a leading Whig and con- 
gressman; Edward Young Hill, the great jurist; Benj. H. 
Bigham, the lawyer and judge, all lived here; but no man \ 
perhaps has shown with such brightness as Benjamin H. j 
Hill, who spent his boyhood in the county and his youth 
in the town of Lagrange, and won his first laurels as a 
great orator while living there. Mr. Hill was born in Jasper 
county, but his father moved at an early day to the county 
of Troup. The father was a man of fine intelligence, of j 
pure character and of large means. He gave his son the i 
best of opportunities, which he faithfully improved. He i 
began the practice of law in Lagrange and soon was at the ; 
head of the bar in Georgia. He took ground against the ; 
measures of the leading party in Georgia, the Democrats, '1 
and when the excitement concerning secession began was 
a decided Union man. When the State seceded he took 



his place as advocating a Southern Confederacy, and was a 
senator to the Confederate Congress and a close friend of 
President Davis. After the war he was in the House and 
finally in the Senate, when, in the vigor of his manhood, 
he passed away. 

Dr. R. A. T. Ridley, famous as a physician and a public 
■man and noted for his philanthropy and his piety, lived 

Troup suffered fearful reverses from the war. The Troup 
people were free livers and somewhat careless financiers. 
Their wealth was largely in their slaves, and all they had 
made was invested in the negroes they had reared. They 
were kind and careful masters, the country was healthy, 
and their negroes had increased largely and rapidly. 
Many of them were in debt for slaves they had bought, as 
•well as for expenses incurred in supporting those they had 
raised. When their property was rendered valueless by 
Federal fiat many of them were hopelessly bankrupt. The 
planters, as in Middle Georgia, found it impossible to man- 
age as they had done, and many of them removed from 
their country homes and went to the towns, renting their 
plantations to their ex-slaves. The towns prospered at the 
expense of the country, and for a time it seemed as if the 
country would be deserted. But now the current is turning, 
•and there is a tendency to build up homes in the rural sec- 

The building of the Atlanta and West Point railway over 
forty years ago brought Troup into connection with the 
seaboard, and the building of the Macon and Birmingham 
road to Macon has brousfht it into closer connection with 


Meriwether county, named in honor of General Meri- 
wether, kinsman to James Meriwether who made the treaty, 

392 , The Story of Georgia [Chap. vill. 

was cut off from Troup in 1827. The description I have 
given of Troup is applicable to Meriwether in almost every 
feature. Like Troup, it was settled from the eastern coun- 
ties, and in 1830, only three years after it was laid out, 
there were nearly 4,500 people in the county. Much of the 
land in Meriwether was like that of Troup, and the same 
wasteful agriculture exhausted the lands as rapidly. There 
was, fortunately, some poor land in the county tenanted by 
poor people, and this has not been worn out, but has im- 

This county is famous for the only thermal spring in 
Georgia. It is known as Warm Springs. It sends forth 
1,400 gallons per minute at a temperature of 90°. It is 
1,200 feet above sea level. The improvements are very 
handsome, and the watering-place is very popular. There 
are also chalybeate and sulphur springs in the county. 

The people of Meriwether have always been noted for 
their morality and for their attention to education. There 
are now schools of high grade at Greenville, Stinson, Senoia 
and Woodbury. A camp-meeting attended by immense 
throngs has been held in Meriwether near Warm Springs 
annually for over seventy years. 

Meriwether has had her share of distinguished men. 

The Hon. Hiram Warner came from Massachusetts to 
Georgia and settled in Houston county as a teacher. He 
studied law, was admitted to the bar, elected to the Legfis- 
lature, and made a judge of the Western Circuit. He fixed 
his home in Greenville and never changed it. He was 
placed on the supreme bench as soon as the supreme court 
was established, and retained his place there until his death, 
except during the period in which he was a member of 

Colonel Henry R. Harris, for several terms a member of 
Congress and an assistant postmaster-general under Mr. 


AND THE Georgia People. 393 

Cleveland's administration, was born in this county and has 
resided here all his life. 

Governor Atkinson was a native of this county, and was 
brought up and educated in it until he went to the Univer- 

For many years after the neighboring counties were sup- 
plied with railroad facilities Meriwether had none. The 
road from Grififin to Newnan skirted the upper part of the 
county, and the West Point road passed through a corner 
of it. But a narrow-gage road was built from Columbus 
to Greenville, and the Macon and Birmingham crossed the 
county from east to west, and the Midland from the north- 
east to the southwest. No county has now better railroad 
facilities, and no county has made more rapid progress 
since the advent of the roads. 

Greenville is a prosperous county town with an excellent 
people, good churches and good schools. 

Stinson, Woodbury, Warm Springs, Senoia and Harris 
City are all promising villages. 

The preachers came into Meriwether with the coming of 
the people, and had but to gather the members of their 
various churches together. A plain church was among the 
first buildings in every neighborhood. The Methodists and 
Baptists are the leading denominations, and they have been 
in the county since its first settlement. 


From the south of Troup and the north of Muscogee a 
county was cut off in 1828 which was called Harris in 
honor of Charles Harris of Savannah, a distinguished law- 
yer who died about the time the county was laid off. It 
was a county of varied resources, and was, like the neigh- 
boring counties, rapidly settled. In 1 830 there were 5,000 
people in it, although it was but four years old, and in 1850 
there were nearly 7,000 whites and 8,000 slaves. The 

394 The 8tory of Georgia [Chap. vill. 

county was settled, as were all these western counties, from 
the eastern and middle parts of the State. 

Many of the people, when they came to Harris, were 
large slaveholders, and were well supplied with all the 
requisites for planting; so the best red lands were taken up 
in large plantations, while the poorer lands were occupied 
by people of limited means. 

Hamilton, the county site of Harris, was named in honor 
of that staunch anti-tariff Democrat of South Carolina, 
General J. W. Hamilton. Hamilton was too near to Colum- 
bus to ever become a town of much commercial importance, 
but has been from its first settlement a pleasant place of 
residence. The schools in the town have been good, and 
education has been carefully attended to. 

When the narrow-gage road was completed to Green- 
ville, across the Pine Mountain, a village of some impor- 
tance named Chipley was built up. 

The first court was held in Hamilton in 1828 and was 
presided over by Judge Walter T. Colquitt. 

There is so little to distinguish one of these western 
cotton-raising counties from the other that anything like 
an elaborate account of any one is out of place, and Harris 
is no exception to the rule. It was largely settled by 
eastern Georgians — an intelligent, moral and religious peo- 
ple. The chief denominations were Methodists and Bap- 
tists and the churches were established as early as the 

The city of Columbus, being so near to Harris, has drawn 
to it a large number of Harris county people. The county 
has not been famous for distinguished public men, but as a 
rule the citizens of Harris have been noted for their intel- 
ligence and morality. 


Coweta, which adjoined Troup on the east, was a large 
and, in the main, a fertile county. It was named Coweta 


AND THE Georgia People. 395 

after the old Indian town two miles below Columbus, and 
its county town was named Newnan in honor of General 
Daniel Newnan, a brave soldier in the war of 1812. 

The county was in all respects like those already de- 
scribed which adjoined it. There was no waste land in it, 
but the fertility of its various sections differed much, and 
according to the nature of the soil was the class of settlers 
who made their homes in the county. 

In the rich red lands there was the slave-owner, and on 
the poorer gray lands the men of smaller means. The 
lands, having been granted by lottery, were very rapidly 
occupied by Georgia people, and in three years there were 
5,000 people in the county, of whom 1,372 were slaves. 

There were but few people of anything like considerable 
property, and the larger number of the first comers were 
men in very moderate circumstances. 

There was, however, as in Troup, quite an immigration 
of people of some property from the eastern counties. 
After the county had been settled some time there came to 
it a fine body of people who moved in a body from Vir- 
ginia, and, besides these, a colony of German origin from 
South Carolina, but the larger part of the people came from 
the eastern counties of Georgia. 

They had few hardships to encounter and found land 
very cheap and a wide range for their cattle and hogs, and 
were soon comfortably fixed in their log cabins. 

The first court-house was at Bullsboro, about two miles 
from the present city of Newnan, and the first court was 
held there by Judge Walter T. Colquitt, This place, which 
was chosen as a county site, was not satisfactory, and no 
public buildings were ever erected there. At that time 
Coweta included Heard and Carroll and was an immense 

The early recdrds show that there was a great deal of 
fraud in taking up the lands, which were distributed by lot- 

396 The Story of Georgia [Chap. yiii, 

tery, and that, as is common in newly settled counties, there 
was a great deal of drinking and fighting. There was, how- 
ever, never a reign of lawlessness in the county. 

The people were generally poor and generally moral. 
They were from the best families east of Coweta, and were 
substantial, industrious and unpretending people. 

The price of land at the first settlement of the county- 
ranged from fifty cents to two dollars and a half per acre^ 
only the very best lands bringing more than one dollar. 

The chief property of the first comers was cattle. Cows 
and calves sold for twelve dollars; cattle, as they came, at 
six dollars per head. There was much bacon made, which 
found ready purchasers in the newcomers. 

It was, however, only a few years after the county was" 
settled before it became famous as a cotton-growing county 
and the plantations were greatly enlarged. 

Coweta was no exception to the general rule in middle 
Georgia. Farms were absorbed in plantations, and the 
same condition of things noted elsewhere followed the' re- 
verses of the war. The planters abandoned the plantations 
and negro tenants alone were left. A gratifying change is 
now passing over the county. The great estates are being 
divided and the number of smaller landholders is increas- 

Newnan was made the county site in 1827, and has been 
one of the leading towns in western Georgia since its first 
settlement. It soon became a place of commercial impor- 
tance, and, being the site of the public buildings and of the 
academies, it drew to itself a population noted for its intel- 
ligence and refinement. The ante-bellum homes, some of 
which still stand, were commodious and imposing, with 
large grounds about them, mainly owned by planters who 
had large estates in the county. 

The citizens took great interest in education in all sec- 
tions of this county. Mr. M. P. Kellogg, a northern teacher 

1820- 18U9.] 

AND THE Georgia People. 397 

of great ability and enterprise, built up a female institution 
of high grade, which he called College Temple, and which 
was a noted school for girls for many years. There was, 
from the settlement of Newnan, a classical school for males, 
and in the country neighborhoods there were some excel- 
lent schools. The Longstreet Institute, the Rock Springs 
Academy and the Senoia Institute were all fine schools. 

The Methodists, Baptists and Presbyterians came with 
the first settlers, and the Methodists and Baptists each had 
a log church in Newnan in 1827. The Presbyterians came 
next, and the Episcopalians have now a church in the cit}-. 
These first churches were of logs, but they soon gave way 
to better buildings, and these in turn to those which are 
still better; and now in Newnan there are elegant churches 
which would do credit to any city, while all over the county 
there are comely and comfortable churches of various de- 
nominations. In addition to these the colored people have 
a number of neat and attractive buildings. 

This county has been the home of rriany prominent and 
useful men who have been distinguished in the history of 
the State. 

Rev. Dr. Luther M. Smith, president of Emory College 
and of the Southern University, was born and brought up 
in this county. 

W. B. W. Dent, a congressman, was a useful resident of 
this county in its earliest settlement. 

Hugh Buchanan, a gifted Scotchman and true soldier, 
and who was severely wounded in the war between the 
States, came to Cow'eta a young teacher and studied law. 
He became at once prominent, was sent to the Legislature, 
elected a judge of the circuit court and a member of Con- 
gress, and died here greatly esteemed. 

The celebrated Dr. Calhoun, the famous surgeon of At- 
lanta, whose reputation as an oculist has become world- 
wide, was brought up in Newnan. 

398 The Story of Georgia [Chap. vill. 

Perhaps no town in the State has had a better class of 
enterprising citizens than Newnan. The Messrs. Cole, na- 
tives of Coweta, built up a famous foundry and machine 
shop, whose work took the highest prize at more than one 
State exhibit, and in common with others built up a cotton- 
mill, which has been successful from its beginning. 

There is now no town in western Georgia in which there 
are evidences of more genuine prosperity than Newnan. 


Talbot was named in honor of Matthew Talbot. He 
was one of the prominent men of Wilkes and was senator 
from that county and president of the Senate when Gov- 
ernor Rabun died. The death of Governor Rabun made 
him ex-officio governor. He ran for the governorship, but 
was defeated by G. M. Troup by two votes. 

The county of Talbot was ordered in 1826. It was a 
very large county and of very varied features. Some of the 
land was remarkably fine, and the Talbot valley, lying 
between the Oak and Pine mountains, is a valley of great 
beauty and fertility. Much of the county was very rugged, 
and though the hills were fertile, they were easily washed 
away. There was some valley land on the river and a 
large body of pine woods. 

The county Vv^as speedily settled, and in 1829 it had 3,841 
free inhabitants and 2,099 slaves. The wealth of the 
neighborhoods varied according to the character of the soil. 

The same story told of Meriwether and Troup can be 
told of Talbot. Eastern planters moved all their interests 
to the new country. The proximity to Columbus enabled 
the settler to secure all the comforts he had left behind. 
Schools were at once established, churches built, and so 
Talbot became a great cotton-raising county. In 1830 
there were 7,811 free and 8,723 slaves. 

The population of Talbot differed but little from the 


AND THE Georgia People. 391> 

best population of the adjoining counties. It was largely- 
settled by eastern Georgians, and the oak and hickory lands 
by cotton-planters. They had been neighbors in Morgan, 
Putnam and Hancock, and there was but little change in 
their lives in this new county. 

As was always the case the pine lands and the poorer 
sections were neglected and thinly peopled for a number of 
years; but when the railroad to Columbus passed through 
the county mills sprang up and farms followed. The Mid- 
land road from Griffin to Columbus passed through Talbot, 
and a branch road from Talbotton to Bostwick connected 
Talbotton with the Central railroad. 

The history of Talbot is simply that of all the slave- 
holding, cotton-planting country. It suffered much from 
the reverses which followed the war, but is now perhaps as 
prosperous on the whole as it has ever been. 

Talbotton, the county site, was settled as soon as the 
county was made. It has been famous from its settlement 
for its culture and refinement, and while it has suffered, as 
all the near-by towns have done, from the attractions of the 
large cities which have drawn its people away from it, it is 
still a thrifty town, with a good trade and an excellent 

Geneva and Bostwick are small villages on the Central 

The Collinsworth Institute, now suspended, was built 
and endowed by Josiah Flournoy, and was long a famous 
high school among the Methodists. The LeVert Female 
College, now the graded school, was a famous female 

From Talbotton Allen F. Owen was sent to Congress 
and made minister to a foreign court, Geo. W. Towns was 
made governor and Barna Hill was made judge. 

Leonard Rush, one of the ablest of Georgia preachers, 
long had his home in the Talbot valley. 

400 The Story of Georgia [Chap. viii. 


A very large county in the northeastern part of Early 
was cut off from that county in 1825 ^^^ named Baker in 
honor of Colonel Baker of the Revolutionary war. It was, 
when laid out, almost an unknown land to the people 
of Georgia, and few had any appreciation of the immense 
value of the as yet untouched soil. It was not a pleasant 
country to the eye, nor did it seem to promise good health. 
It was in what the old geologists called the tertiary forma- 
tion; the water was strongly impregnated with lime, and 
the air was laden with malaria. It was soon discovered 
that the hummocks were exceptionally fertile, and adapted 
especially to cotton. 

It was at first taken possession of by the stock-raiser and 
was a fine land for grazing, but as soon as the fertility of its 
soil was recognized it was bought up by the large slave- 
owners of middle Georgia and plantations were opened. 

While the climate in winter and the early spring was very 
fine, it was very unfriendly to white people in the later 
summer and fall, but it was not so to negroes, and they 
breathed the malarious air with greater impunity. 

As soon as the great value of the cotton lands was dis- 
covered, and all danger from the Indians was removed, the 
county became very attractive to men of large means, and 
it was soon turned into a great plantation and negro quar- 

In no part of the State was planting carried on on so 
large a scale. From one hundred to two thousand bales of 
cotton was the ordinary crop of a Baker county planter. 
The cotton was sent by steamer down the Flint and Apa- 
lachicola to Apalachicola in Florida, and thence shipped 
to New York and Europe. 

The plantations were very large and the pine woods ad- 
joining were almost unpeopled, and in 1830 in the entire 


AND THE Georgia People. 401 

county, now divided into several counties, there were only 
1,253 inhabitants of all kinds, of whom the larger number 
were whites, but in 1 8 50, after the planters had begun their 
settlements, there were 8,000, of whom 4,000 were negroes. 
The pine lands were at first regarded merely as grazing 
land and were not valued by the cotton-planters, but when 
cultivated were found to be almost equal to the hummocks 
in fertility, and they too were put in cotton fields. 

Baker received quite an uplift when the Central road, " 
then the Southwestern, reached Albany and there was quick 
transportation. The transfer of the cotton-planting interest 
from the upper counties, from Liberty, Burke, Baldwin and 
Putnam, to Baker was made rapidly after 1850 and there 
was quick transit to Savannah. Albany became quite an im- 
portant cotton market. The county was then divided into 
Baker and Dougherty. 

There was little likelihood that a county of large planta- 
tions and absentee landlords would be a county of good 
schools or prosperous churches, and this county, outside of 
Albany, suffered for the want of them for many years. 
Schools were few and churches were fewer. The planters 
did not live on their estates in many cases, and those who 
did were too few to keep up good schools. So they sent 
their children abroad or employed private tutors. There 
were too few people to form good congregations, and 
although Methodist and Baptist preachers were in the 
county from its settlement and had churches and many 
members among the slaves, they had small following among 
the whites. 


Lee county adjoins Baker on its northern side. It was 
laid out in 1826 and was named Lee in honor of "Light 
Horse Harry." This county was the exact counterpart of 
Baker. It was very fertile, but was considered quite un- 


402 The Story of Georgia [Chap. Vill. 

healthy, and was but slowly settled. In 1830 there were 
but 1,680 people in a very large county; but when its 
resources as a cotton country were discovered it had the 
same history as Baker. It was bought up by wealthy plan- 
ters and turned into a great cotton plantation. The plan- 
ters of Bibb, Baldwin, Jones and Putnam transferred the 
larger part of their working force to Lee and put them in 
charge of overseers; and the history given of Baker tells, 
the story of Lee in all its details. 

There was for years after the county was settled very bad 
drinking water, many ponds and much ill health. Whites 
deserted the country, and the plantations became immense, 
for Georgia negroes by the hundreds were settled on them, 
in charge of overseers. 

Captain Fort succeeded in solving the water problem by 
boring a deep artesian well. His example was followed by 
others, and now there is, as in Baker and Dougherty, good 
water everywhere. 

Before the war the county was so thinly settled by white 
people that the conditions usual in such sections were found 
here. Schools were few and churches fewer. After the 
war, with the building up of the villages along the railway,, 
there was improvement on all these lines. 


The immense county of Early was made into a number 
of new counties, and among them one on its lower border 
extending to the Florida line was made in 1823. It was- 
called Decatur after the gallant Commodore, and its county 
site was named Bainbridge in honor of Commodore Bain- 

The description given of Early county in the preceding 

chapter is applicable in almost all respects to Decatur. 

It contained a great body of pine land, through which the 
Flint river ran diagonally into the Chattahoochee. There 


AND THE Georgia People. 403 

were a number of large creeks in the county, and on these 
rivers and creeks there was much rich hummock land tim- 
bered with oak, hickory and other hardwood trees. The 
main body of the land was pine land, and, as was universal in 
the first settlement, it was regarded as mere grazing land and 
was esteemed as of little worth. The lands on the rivers 
were fertile and accessible, and were soon taken up by the 
wealthy cotton-planters, many of whom moved from the 
eastern counties of Georgia, and some from South Carolina. 
These cotton-planters bought large bodies of pine land in 
connection with the land they cultivated and had very large 

For convenience of access to the outside world the larger 
planters lived near the Chattahoochee or Flint rivers, and 
really had but little intercourse with the stock-raisers scat- 
tered over the pine-barrens of this county. These Chatta- 
hoochee and Flint river planters lived, as did those who 
were near them in Early, in a community of their own. 
They had many slaves and splendid mansions, and no 
people in Georgia lived with greater elegance. The history 
of the great Munnerlyn estate will perhaps give a better 
exhibit of this one phase of this southwestern Georgia life 
than any general statement: 

Mr. Munnerlyn went from South Carolina to Florida; but 
not being pleased he bought the famous Fowltown tract 
in Decatur county. It lay between the rivers, where the 
Indians had a town. Here he settled a large plantation. 
There were thousands of acres in the tract. He built a 
large and comfortable mansion house with broad verandas, 
wide halls and airy rooms. There was about it a large 
park, a well-kept flower-garden, a large kitchen-garden and 
all the needful equipment of a gentleman's home. The 
plantation was on the river, the fields stretching out along 
its banks for miles. There were several settlements known 
as negro quarters, each with scores of negroes and each in 

404 The Story of Georgia [Chap. vill. 

charge of an overseer. The discipline spoken of elsewhere 
was observed on the estate, and for many years there was 
great prosperity. Mr. Munnerlyn was merely one of many; 
but after the war it was no longer possible to keep up the 
admirable discipline that had brought success, and the great 
estate was abandoned. 

On the banks of the Chattahoochee, isolated and remote 
from all people of like kind, there was, up to i860, an 
elegance, a refinement and a style of living equal to any in 
the land. There were books, periodicals, newspapers, 
musical instruments, and all the comforts and many of the 
luxuries of life. The fine fish and oysters of the coast, fruit 
from the West Indies, flour from Baltimore, and all the table 
comforts furnished by the city market were at the planter's 
call, while his own plantation supplied all the poultry, the 
mutton, the beef and hams demanded by the generous 
housekeeper. There was a lavish hospitality, and during 
all the winter a houseful of guests. The life of the James 
river planter of the last century and of the sea island 
planter of the first part of this was reproduced in the west- 
ern border of Georgia, where for scores of miles east of the 
river there were only log cabins and poor, plain rustics. 
The main body of the Decatur people lived in the pine 
woods and had the same features of character belonging to 
these stock-raisers everywhere. 

Then the railroads came, with the usual result. 

There were in the county in 1830 3,850 people, and in 
1850 about 8,000, of whom there were 3,639 slaves. 

In a county like that of Decatur, where there was such 
inequality in social conditions, there was, of course, great 
inequality in the school and religious privileges. In certain 
wealthy neighborhoods there were congregations of select 
people, while in the pine forests the churches were few and 
far apart and were attended by the poor and illiterate. 
The results following the war produced great changes in 


AND THE Georgia People. 405 

this direction. The building of the railway from Savannah 
to the Chattahoochee, and from Montgomery, Ala., to 
Bainbridge brought all parts of Decatur into notice. 

Bainbridge, the county site of Decatur, was for some 
years, on account of its location on the river, the most 
important town in this section of southwest Georgia. With 
the building of the railway to Albany and the decline of 
Apalachicola it suffered a temporary decline, but with the 
extension of the railroad and the building of the line from 
Montgomery it was provided with excellent railroad facili- 
ties, and has become quite a busy and prosperous city. 

There are sundry small villages along the railways in the 
county which are centers of a good trade. 


Thomas county, on the line of Florida, was laid out in 
1826. It was named in honor of General Jett Thomas, a 
soldier of 18 12. It was in the main a pine woods county 
in which there were a few bodies of fertile hummock land. 
In common with all sections of this kind, it drew to it two 
very different classes of settlers, the cattle-raiser and the 
cotton-planter; but it was very thinly settled for a long 
time. It had in 1830 only 3,000 inhabitants when it em- 
braced what are now several large counties; and at this 
early day 1,168 of these first comers were slaves. Although 
the size of the county was greatly reduced, in 1850 there 
were 9,000, of whom 5,155 were slaves. 

Many of its first people emigrated from Bulloch, Screven, 
Burke, Laurens and Montgomery, and brought with them a 
number of slaves. The planters located on the rich hum- 
mocks near the Florida line, and raised cotton. Large 
fortunes were rapidly made. The cotton was sent by 
wagons to Magnolia, St. Marks and Newport, Fla., and 
shipped by sailing vessels to New York. The land was very 
fertile, and the cotton product was very large. The planter, 

406 The Story of Gteorgia [Chap. viri. 

being remote from markets, depended largely on his own 
resources, and few planters were so independent or so 

The pine woods furnished a range of wide extent, and 
the cattle fed on the wild pastures and increased to large 

The county was healthy and negroes increased rapidly, 
and as land was abundant and cheap the first comer se- 
cured a large body of it, and although he lived a long way 
in the interior, he was only a three-days' journey from the 
Gulf coast and found a ready market for his cotton there 
and so his property rapidly increased. 

The poorer class lived in great simplicity and did not 
differ from the ordinary pine woods people whom we have 
so often described. Those of them who first settled near 
the plantation of the rich planter, whose favorite maxim 
was " poor land is the best neighbor," sold out his small 
lot of two hundred and fifty acres and went to Florida. 

The homes of some of the wealthy planters just before 
the war were very elegant. They generally lived on or 
near their plantations, and as they had access to the city 
markets through St. Marks or Newport, and as they had 
money to their credit in New York, they bought often- 
times handsome furniture, and as they had abundant timber 
and often a lumber-mill of their own, and their own car- 
penters and brick-makers, they built themselves commo- 
dious and handsome residences. The plantation furnished 
them with all the comforts they needed; the most beautiful 
flowers, exotics elsewhere, grew in the open air. The 
water-oaks were of great size, the magnolia was indigenous 
and the yellow jessamine and the red woodbine festooned 
the forest trees. 

The good women were famous as housekeepers and labor 
was abundant. 

The young people were sent abroad for an education and 


AND THE Georgia People. 407 

had the advantage of the best schools. As the wealthy 
cotton-planters lived remote from the seaboard, shut up to 
themselves, they formed an exclusive circle, but one suffi- 
ciently extensive for pleasant society. 

There was no sale for the smaller products of the plan- 
tation, and so the planter's table was laden with the most 
toothsome viands from his own estate, and his hospitality 
was boundless. 

Thomasville was a quiet little village for many years 
after it was settled, but with the building of the railway it 
became quite a mart of trade. When the war ended atten- 
tion was drawn to its matchless winter climate. Great 
hotels were built and visitors came by the thousands. 
Many of these visitors were so well pleased with the county 
that they decided to establish winter homes in it, and in 
Thomasville and in the country roundabout some of them 
built very handsome homes and purchased large bodies of 
land as hunting lodges. These winter visitors form a soci- 
ety of their own and have little to do with the people of 
the city or county in which they sojourn for a little while. 
They spend only a few of the severest weeks of the year 
in this climate and then return northward. 

The sand pear, or LeConte pear, was found so admi- 
rably suited to the soil around Thomasville, that until the 
blight reached the trees, it seemed as if the whole county 
would be a pear orchard; but while the blight checked, it 
has not entirely destroyed the fruit-raising industry. 

The little towns of Boston and Cairo, one on the east 
and the other on the west of Thomasville, are both sprightly 
towns, with a good trade. 

Thomasville, by the bequest of Remur Young, has a 
small and feeble chartered college for girls, called by his 
name, and there is a male school which is owned by the 
city, known as the South Georgia College, and the usual 
county public schools in all sections of the county. 

408 The Stoey of Georgia [Chap. Vlil. 

Few parts of the State have grown with greater rapidity 
than Thomas has since the war, although its progress has 
been retarded by the purchase of large bodies of land by 
the rich men of the north and west, which have been 
turned into game preserves and which are owned by ab- 
sentee landlords who only visit the county once a year, 
and take no interest in its development and have little in- 
tercourse with its people. 


In 1824, out of the great county of Irwin, which em- 
braced so much of southern Georgia, several counties were 
formed. One of these was the county of Ware, named in 
honor of Nicholas Ware of Augusta. 

We have already seen the county from which it was 
made, Irwin, and there was but little to distinguish this 
part of the county from any other part of it. It had, how- 
ever, in its borders one of the largest swamps in America, 
the Okefinokee, which has no rival in America except the 
Dismal Swamp in Virginia and the Everglades in Florida. 
This swamp has been explored but partially, and has been 
found to be a vast marsh, with occasional lakes and islands. 
There is in it some good timber of various kinds. The 
swamp was purchased from the State a few years since by 
a land company, and an effort was made to drain it by a 
large canal. The promoters hoped not only to drain the 
swamp, but by the canal to provide a means for floating the 
timber found in it to the Satilla river, and thus recover 
much land for cultivation and secure timber for the mills. 
The effort, however, has not been a successful one. The 
great swamp was a hiding place for deserters during the 
war. It is famous for its fish and its vast number of wild 
bee-trees with their stores of honey and beeswax. 

The county of Ware had few advantages for agriculture, 
and was almost entirely given up to cattle-raising until the 


AND THE Georgia People. 409 

building of the Atlantic and Gulf railroad, when the vast 
timber resources of the country were first developed. 

After the war the turpentine farms were opened, and 
when the great Plant System of railways decided on a 
direct line to Florida, to provide for its Florida travel, it 
made the point of departure from its main line a little vil- 
lage in Ware called Waycross, where the Brunswick and 
Western railroad crosses the Savannah, Florida and West- 
ern. Here it resolved to build large shops and have a hos- 
pital. A city sprang up, and now there are three fine school 
buildings, electric lights and water-works. 

For many years the country was thinly settled. Churches 
were few and schools were rare. The people were good, 
poor people who were isolated and illiterate and had little 
ambition to improve their condition. But perhaps in no 
part of the State is there now more intelligence or a better 
type of piety. 

Waresboro has become quite a prosperous little town, 
and there are churches and villages all along the various 
railroads which permeate the country. The artesian well 
has opened up inexhaustible fountains of pure water, and 
the health of the country and city is now remarkably good. 


Lowndes county was laid off from Irwin in 1825, and was 
named in honor of the free-trader Senator Lowndes of 
South Carolina. Its first county site was Troupville, named 
for Governor Troup. When it was decided to move the 
county site to where it is now the name chosen was Val- 
dosta, which was the name of Governor Troup's country 

It has a wide stretch of pine woods, broken into by a few 
hummocks. The rivers which traverse the county have no 
swamps, but make their way through banks of sand. There 
is some pine land which is productive, some that is very 

410 The Story of Georgia [Ohap. Vlll. 

sterile, and some that is too flat for good drainage. The 
hummocks are productive, and the county as a whole is a 
good one. 

The land was laid off originally in large lots of 490 acres, 
and those who had only one lot were accounted as having 
a very small holding. 

The people generally were independent and contented. 
They had no slaves, or but few ; had little and wanted little. 
But there were almost from its first settlement a few large 
planters who had extensive plantations and many slaves. 
Their homes were plain but comfortable. But the most of 
the people were mere stock-raisers who lived at home. 
They were, like the other piny woods people, comfortable 
and contented. They lived on the large land lots remote 
from each other, and made no other effort than to live 
comfortably and independently. 

The railroad came, the little hamlet of Valdosta began to 
grow, and trade from the counties roundabout began to 
come into it. The mill man came to make lumber, the tur- 
pentine distiller to make turpentine, and the little town 
became a city, with banks, factories and wholesale stores 
and handsome churches and other public buildings. 

The county of Lowndes was near no navigable stream, 
and had no railroads, and was for many years settled only 
by those who wanted to lead a quiet life and who had little 
hope of making fortunes. 

There came into the county at an early date many de- 
scendants of the old Salzburghers, who made a most ad- 
mirable class of settlers. 

There was some cotton raised in the county, which found 
a market at St. Marks; but there was little bought or sold. 

But little attention was paid to religious culture or edu- 
cation until the railway reached the county, and for a num- 
ber of years afterward; but now there is a fine graded school 
in Valdosta and good schools in all sections of the county. 

1820-1829.] ^ND THE GrEORGIA PeOPLE. 411 


The county of Randolph was the second county in Geor- 
gia named for John Randolph. It lay on the Chattahoochee, 
and when laid out in 1828 the Indians were on the Alabama 
side. The county was a pine woods one, was very remote 
from the center of population, and did not attract settlers 
rapidly; but it had a considerable number of people scat- 
tered over it who were engaged in raising cattle. 

After the last Indian trouble in 1836, when the town of 
Roanoke was burned, the value of the lands in Randolph 
was discovered and the county began to improve. The 
opening of the Southwestern railroad brought into it a large 
body of new immigrants. 

There is but little to distinguish this county from the 
other piny woods counties of the southwestern part of 
Georgia; but it has been exceptionally fortunate in the class 
of people who have settled it. 

Cuthbert, the county site, is a beautiful, enterprising and 
prosperous city. Its citizens have taken great pride in its 
educational advancement, and before the war the Baptists 
and Methodists had each a college for girls located here. 
The Methodist college was burned a few years since, but 
has been rebuilt. It is an elegant building and the school 
has a large patronage. There are good churches and 
schools in every part of the county, which is steadily im- 


Marion county was named in honor of the great partizan 
chief, and was laid off from Lee and Muscogee. Much of 
it was sterile pine woods, but there are sundry bodies of 
good land scattered through it. 

It had in it in 1830 only about 1,300 people all told, but 
in 1850 the population was over 1 1,000, of which 3,600 
were slaves. 


412 The Story of Georgia [Chap. VIII. 

Buena Vista, which was made the county site in 1847, 
since the railroad reached it, has become a prosperous town. 

The inhabitants in the county are a plain, good people, 
and there are churches and schools in all parts of the 

As in all the pine woods counties, there has been a de- 
cided advance in all material interests since the war and 
since the introduction of fertilizers; but as the county has 
been reduced in size by its giving of territory to contiguous 
counties newly formed, there has been no increase in its 
population, which in 1890 was only 7,000. 


The present county of Muscogee is not a large nor is it 
agriculturally a rich county. It derives its importance 
from being the county in which the city of Columbus, with 
its valuable manufacturing interests, is located. 

As we shall speak of the city in another chapter, we 
have little to say of the county now. It is largely of pine 
woods and the pine lands are thin and generally sterile. 
There are sundry creeks in the county and there are some 
good bottom lands upon them, but the country around the 
city is not generally fertile. 

The Chattahoochee in Muscogee flows over great beds 
of rock and forms an immense shoal and gives an almost 
unlimited water-power. South of the shoals the river is 
navigable to the Gulf, and along it are some fine productive 

The county was not thickly settled, the attention of the 
people being turned almost entirely to the city, and the 
proximity to the Indians across the river making it some- 
what perilous to live isolated. After the city grew and the 
Indians were removed the planters chose the rich lands of 
Alabama. There is but little outside of Columbus and its 
vicinity of interest in Muscogee as it at present stands. 


AND THE Georgia People. 413 


1829 TO 1837. 

Governor Gilmer — Gold Discovery in Habersiiam — The Rush of Intruders — 
Troubles of the Governor with them and with the Indians — Extension of 
Georgia Laws over the Cherokee Nation — Recusant Missionaries Arrested 
and Convicted — Their Imprisonment in the State Prison — Governor Lump- 
kin — Governor Schley — Flush Times — Banking Mania — Wild Speculation — 
List of Enterprises — Manual Labor Schools — Mercer University — Emory 
College — Oglethorpe University — Wesleyan Female College — Mission Work 
among the Cherokees — Final Removal of the Cherokees — New Counties 
Laid Out — The Mountains and the Mountaineers — The Settlers in the Hill 
Country — State Benevolences — Asylum for Deaf and Dumb — Asylum for 
Lunatics — First Public Move towards Securing a History of Georgia — The 
First Geological Survey — Dr. Cotting — The Gold-seekers — Salting Mines — 
The Blue Limestone Country — Political Strife — Newspapers — Education — 
Religion — The Great Railroad Movement. 

Authorities as in last period, with Prince's Digest, files of newspapers, Gilmer's 

George R. Gilmer, who was elected governor, has already 
been sketched in my account of Oglethorpe county. He 
was born in Georgia, but in a settlement of Virginians. He 
married a Virginian and spent much time in that State. He 
was nominally a Georgian, but really a Virginian in all his 
sympathies. He had been an adherent of Mr. Crawford, 
but was somewhat of a free-lance in politics, and was 
brought out by the Clarke party, who had been defeated by 
Troup and Forsyth. He was opposed by Joel Crawford, 
but elected over him. 

He came to his office in a troublous time, for it was 
during the gold mania. In a garden in the Nacoochee 
valley the spade of a workman had turned up a nugget of 
gold, and there was a discovery of rich deposits of the 
precious metal in other parts of Habersham county, and 

414 The Story of Georgia [Chap. ix. 

the discovery had brought into the up-country a vast horde 
of gold-seekers. The Indian country, in which white men 
were not allowed permanent residence, was in this section 
of country, and the gold-seekers poured into it. The gov- 
ernor issued a proclamation commanding the intruders to 
depart; but "these paper bullets," he says, "had little in- 
fluence over a people who could not read." 

The gold-hunters dug the gravel from the bottom of the 
streamlets and the banks and valleys near by, rocked 
their long-toms in the daytime, gathered their nuggets, 
and spent the nights in drinking, gaming and fighting. 

In addition to the annoyance the governor had from the 
intruders, he had more serious trouble from the Cherokees 
themselves. They were a somewhat weak tribe, who had 
shared with the Creeks the possession of Georgia. They 
had been so often defeated by the " Long Knives," as they 
called the Virginians, the Georgians and the South Caro- 
linians, that there had been no open war for a long time, 
and they had lived quietly in their beautiful valleys. 

The Moravian, the Presbyterian, the Congregationalist, 
the Methodist and the Baptist missionaries were at work 
among them, and with good success. Many of the Scotch 
traders lived in the nation during the last century, had 
married Indian wives and their children were now in con- 
trol of the tribe. 

The United States government, after having agreed with 
Georgia to extinguish the Indian title, had granted a title 
in fee to many of these Indians, and a reservation had been 
secured to them; and one of their chiefs, John Ridge, act- 
ing under the instructions of another chief, John Ross, in 
the dead of winter, after having warned off some white in- 
truders and after their refusing to leave, had burned the 
cabins of the intruders and drove their families from the 

The indignation among the whites was very great, and 


AND THE Georgia People. 415 

it was all the governor could do to restrain the angry fron- 
tiersmen from taking summary vengeance and precipitating 
a bloody conflict. In vain had the appeal been made to 
the president to carry out the agreement with the State to 
extinguish the Indian title. So the Legislature was called 
toffether, the laws of the State were extended over the ter- 
ritory, and all the white men who were in the nation were 
required to take the oath of allegiance to the State govern- 
ment. An Indian having committed a murder, was tried 
for the crime in Hall superior court, which had juris- 
diction over the entire nation, and he was convicted, and, 
despite the interference of the Supreme Court of the United 
States, he was duly hung. There were a number of white 
missionaries from the North who refused to vacate their 
places or take the oath; and they were arrested and tried on 
the charge of contemning Georgia laws, and they all purged 
themselves of contempt and were discharged but Messrs. 
Worcester and Butler, who refused positively to do so. 
They were arrested and were treated very brutally by Gen- 
eral Nelson, who was the officer in charge of the militia 
forces, for which, much to his indignation, he was called to 
account by the governor. These missionaries were brought 
before the civil court and tried for contumacy. They were 
ably defended, but being unwilling to make any conces- 
sions, were finally sentenced to confinement in the State 
prison. They were offered a free pardon on condition that 
they would comply with the law or leave the nation. They 
refused to do either, and went submissively to the State 
prison. Their punishment was more nominal than real, and 
after a short time in prison they gained their consent to 
make the submission demanded, and were released. 

The governor was roundly abused for the persecution of 
these good men, but it is evident that the missionaries were 
unwilling to do anything to relieve the situation and that 
he reluctantly consented to allow the law to take its course;, v 

416 The Story of G-eorgia [Chap. IX. 

and it is evident there was no disposition on the part of any 
of the civil authorities to throw any impediment in the way 
of proper missionary work. The two imprisoned mission- 
aries were doubtless honest in the course they took of re- 
bellion against the State, although they took a course which 
none of the other missionaries felt called upon to take. 
The rabble who had gone into the territory to dig gold 
was removed out of the nation by the Federal troops, and 
steps were taken by the president to secure the removal of 
the Indians from Georgia. This was not finally accom- 
plished until Governor Gilmer's second term, which began 
in 1837. 

The course of the governor in not at least winking at the 
course of the intruders made him so obnoxious to many that 
he was defeated when he offered for reelection in 183 1, and 
Governor Wilson Lumpkin took the vacated place. Gover- 
nor Lumpkin was a Virginian by birth, who had spent his 
youth in the clerk's office in Lexington, where his father 
was clerk. He entered early into public life, was a mem- 
ber of the Legislature and filled important county offices; 
and now, as candidate of the Crawford party, defeated Gov- 
ernor Gilmer. 

While he was governor the Cherokee lands were surveyed 
and laid off and distributed by lottery, although the In- 
dians were still in the territory. The lots were of forty and 
sixty acres, the small lots being in the gold region. 

Governor Lumpkin finished his term, and was succeeded 
by Governor Schley. Governor Schley was a Marylander. 
He came to Georgia when a boy. He studied law and be- 
came a leading lawyer in Augusta. He was then a mem- 
ber of Congress and a judge of the superior court, and was 
elected governor in 1835. 

While he was governor the Seminoles in Florida, who 
were kinspeople of the Creeks, rose against the whites; and 
the Creeks in Alabama having heard of this insurrection, 

1829-1837.] AND THE GEORGIA PeOPLE. 417 

resolved to make one more effort to recover their Georgia 
lands. They invaded Georgia in May and June of 1836. 
The settlers fled, and Governor Schley ordered out the 
militia and took the field in person. The Indians burned 
the little village of Roanoke in Stewart county and killed 
twelve persons. They burned a steamboat which was at 
anchor at the village and attacked another which was ascend- 
ing the river and succeeded in capturing it. They had a 
sharp fight with a small body of whites on Sheppard's plan- 
tation. They then took position in a dense swamp, from 
which they were finally routed. Another band of Indians 
making an effort to reach the hostiles in Florida were at- 
tacked by the whites and defeated, and the disheartened 
tribe at last made a full surrender and consented to remove 
in a body to Arkansas, and the last Creek left Georgia. 
There was no further disturbance with the Indians in the 
State, and the wild Seminoles were driven into the Ever- 
glades of Florida and from thence removed to the west. 

The Cherokees, as we have seen, were somewhat tardily 
accepting the situation and were peaceable, and then the 
wise, far-seeing governor gave himself to the work of 
advancing the general interests of the State. He was a 
man of great sagacity and broad views, and recommended 
in his message to the Legislature the building of the 
Western and Atlantic railroad, a geological survey, and 
what was sadly needed, an asylum for the insane. He was 
a man of affairs, and when his time was out as governor 
and Governor Gilmer was elected in his place, he retired 
from public life and became a manufacturer. 

Governor Gilmer was elected governor the second time 
in 1837. The first part of the period now under survey 
was a time of great inflation. New plantations were being 
opened in all sections of the State. Villages and towns 
were springing up like magic. Macon and Columbus, 


418 The Story of Georgia [Chap. IX^ 

which were not ten years old when this period ended, and 
which were but founded when it began, were now consider- 
able cities. 

The banking interest had taken a new impetus and rose, ac- 
cording to Governor Gilmer, to a mania. The State, which 
had a large block of stock in the Planters Bank, the Bank of 
Darien and the State Bank, now chartered a new bank, 
called the Central Bank of Georgia. The capital stock 
was to be the balance in the State treasury, the State's 
shares in the Bank of Augusta, in the Planters Bank, the 
Bank of Darien and the Bank of the State of Georgia. 
The purpose in establishing this bank was to make money 
easy for the planters, and the ease with which discounts 
were secured was in inverse ratio to the ease with which 
collections of the notes were made. 

Four banks were established in Columbus, five in Macon, 
one in Milledgeville, one in Brunswick, one in Rome, one 
each in Hawkinsville, Irwinton, Florence and other small 

The notes of these various specie-paying banks were 
legal tender, and they were all specie-paying when there 
was no extensive call for redemption. Notes were issued 
freely and paper discounted readily, and there was a wild 
era of speculation. The rich lands in the newly opened, 
western counties in Georgia and in the Cherokee country 
were bought and sold in many markets. 

The Georgia land speculator crossed the Chattahoochee 
river and bought land in Alabama. Land-trading was uni- 
versal. Lawyers, preachers, doctors, merchants and bankers 
were all buying plots, grants and soldiers' warrants and 
selling them at an advance. Money was easy, and when, 
the trader had no money of his own he went to a bank 
and secured a loan. 

Negroes came in droves from Virginia and Maryland,. 
and were bought on nine months' time, and large fortunes 


AND THE Georgia People. 419 

were apparently possessed by men who were in debt for 
everything they held. 

The growth of the cities made speculation in town lots 
a prominent feature of the times, and many men trading in 
town lots became rich by repute in a few weeks. There 
was what is called in modern language a " boom " in real 
estate in town and country. 

The growth of cotton in the western counties made the 
question of transportation one of prime importance, and 
schemes of various kinds were entered upon to provide for 
the carrying of produce to the seaports. Railways were now 
attracting attention and charters were granted to quite a num- 
ber. The Central Railroad and Canal Company was to con- 
nect Macon and Savannah, and the Georgia Railroad and 
Turnpike Company to connect Augusta with Eatonton, with 
branches to Madison and Athens. The Monroe railroad 
was to run from Macon to Forsyth, the Western Turnpike 
Company from Rome to Chattanooga, and Thomas Spald- 
ing was given a charter to dig a canal and build a railway 
from Brunswick to Albany. It was to be a railway of 
wood, or a canal. Mr. T. Butler King and his associates 
were to construct the great Western road from Brunswick 
to Macon, and thence to Tennessee. A road was to be 
built from Brunswick to Florida, and a railroad from Macon 
to Columbus and Lagrange. Steamboat lines were to run 
from Augusta to Savannah, and from Macon to Darien; 
the Western and Atlantic railroad from some point near 
Rossville, on the Tennessee line, to some point in middle 
Georgia, either Athens, Madison, Milledgeville, Forsyth or 
Columbus. This was to be built by the State. A railroad 
was also chartered from Madison to the Chattahoochee, 
and from St. Marys to Columbus. 

These were some of the railway and steamboat lines 
chartered, and then there were sundry other corporations 
and joint stock companies. Among them the Macon In- 

420 The yTORY of Georgia . [Chap. IX. 

surance Company, the Flat Shoals (Dekalb) Cotton Mill, 
the Augusta Mining Company, the woolen and cotton mill 
in Augusta, a woolen and cotton mill in Upson, the Frank- 
lin factory in Upson, the Camak factory in Clarke, the 
Richmond factory in Richmond, the Scull Shoals Company 
in Greene county, the Pigeon Roost Mining Company in 
Lumpkin, the Auraria and Blue Ridge turnpike, the Eaton- 
ton Manufacturing Company, the Georgia Mining Company, 
the Flat Shoals Manufacturing Company in Harris county, 
the Oglethorpe Insurance Company in Macon. 

This long list of companies shows the character of the 
times. Stock companies of all kind sprang up in every 
direction. This state of things continued until the sudden 
burst of the panic of 1837, when the whole country was 
swept by a cyclone of disaster from which there was no 
recovery for near ten years. 

In these flush times there was a new impetus given to 
the cause of education. The people in Georgia were mostly 
planters and farmers and had made their property by hard 
work, and the one sin in their eyes was laziness. The rapid 
increase of wealth and the multiplication of slaves had led 
the planters to fear that their sons might grow up in indo- 
lence and become worthless. The scheme of manual labor 
schools, some of which were established in the North, 
struck them favorably, and led to the establishment of sev- 
eral in Georo^ia. Of these more is said in a succeedinsf 
chapter. From these schools the advance was made to the 
chartering of new colleges. The Mercer University among 
the Baptists, Emory among the Methodists, and Ogle- 
thorpe among the Presbyterians were all chartered and 
established. The Macon people of all denominations 
secured a charter for the Georgia Female College, and the 
Baptists in Washington one for a Baptist female college, 
which, however, was never founded. 

The last of the Indians were removed from Georofia 


AND THE Georgia People. 421 

during this period. The Creeks and other tribes had gone 
years before, and now the Cherokees (in 1837) were 
removed. They were a weaker but more civilized tribe than 
the Creeks, and, as we have seen elsewhere, had a number 
of villages in upper Georgia. They had large towns in 
Murray, Polk and Gordon, and had schools and churches; 
and when an effort was made to remove them they stub- 
bornly resisted it. The sympathies of the Northern people, 
who had freed themselves from the presence of the Indians, 
were now with the Cherokees. The Georgians wanted the 
land the Indians held, and claimed it by virtue of the same 
title with which the New England and all the older States 
held their Indian land. The United States had agreed to ex- 
tinguish the Indian title nearly forty years before this period, 
and had provided a better country for the Indians in the 
West and offered them free transportation to it, a year's 
supply of provisions and full pay for their belongings in 
Georgia; but the Cherokees were not willing to go. They 
appealed to the supreme court of the United States, and 
gave Wm. Wirt a fee of $20,000 to defend their right to 
their old homes. The State had, as we have seen else- 
where, extended her laws over that part of the nation 
which was in her boundary and had forced all the white 
people in the Indian country to take the oath of allegiance 
to Georgia or to remove, and had punished those who had 
refused to do so. It had surveyed the country and granted 
to its citizens land of the Indian nation; but still the Indians 
lived in their old homes. Governor Gilmer, who was a 
political foe of President Van Buren, found that Ross, the 
Indian chief, still pressed the case of the Cherokees before 
the supreme court of the United States. The president still 
delayed action, and apparently purposed to give the Indians 
two years longer in which to decide whether they would 
remove or not. So Governor Gilmer took matters in his 
own hands and ordered General Chas. Floyd to march with 

422 The IStory of Georgia [Chap. IX. 

his militia to the nation.* General Scott was in charge of the 
United States troops in the nation, and was now ordered to 
gather the Indians into forts. Still the poor Cherokees 
thought they would be permitted to return to their cabins 
again; but they soon found the decree was irrevocable, and 
that they must go to a new land and one to them unknown. 
It was a pitiful scene. The land they were to leave was 
theirs and had been the land of their fathers. For it they 
had fought against the Creeks and the Long Knives; they 
had not sold it, nor had it been wrested from them in war, 
nor had they given it away; but by a law which they could 
not understand they were compelled now to go to an un- 
known land far away and leave behind them all the little 
property they had accumulated, or to sell it at such price 
as the whites in authority chose to pay. Some of these 
homes were very humble, for most of the Indians were very 
poor; but the ruling chiefs, who were generally half-breeds, 
had large plantations and, for those days, very handsome 
brick residences and many slaves. The edict went forth, 
the poor Indians were obliged to submit, and the Chero- 
kees left Georgia forever in 1837. 

Five years before this the land had been surveyed, divided 
into lots and distributed by lottery. This new territory was 
divided into the counties of Cherokee, Cass, Cobb, Forsyth, 
Gilmer, Lumpkin, Murray, Paulding, Walker and Floyd. 
These counties divided themselves into groups: there were 
the gold-producing counties, the hill counties of the freestone 
group, and the blue limestone counties. In the mountain 
gold-producing group were Lumpkin, Union and Gilmer; 
in the hill country were Cobb, Forsyth and Cherokee, 
while the blue limestone counties were Cass, Paulding, 
Floyd, Walker and Murray. P^ach of these groups had its 
distinctive features. In Lumpkin and the adjoinmg coun- 

* These facts are largely presented in Governor Gilmer's " Georgians," in 
his autobiography. 


AND THE Georgia People. 423 

ties there was gold, but only in Lumpkin did mining have 
prominent place. 

The lottery which divided the land was drawn in 1832. 
It was a time of absorbing interest. The discoveries of gold 
in the nation had been just sufficient to arouse the highest 
hopes of richer discoveries, and men expected to find mines 
of untold wealth on the newly granted lands. There was 
one lot which the intruders had found very rich. It was 
known as lot No. 42, and it was supposed that it would give 
its owner a princely fortune. When the drawing came off 
men waited eagerly to hear who would draw it. The spec- 
ulators were on hand, prepared to hurry to the lucky 
drawer and buy it from him. When the fortunate drawer 
was known one man, by the aid of a relay of horses, reached 
the owner and for a fabulous sum succeeded in buying it. 
When he went to the mine and began work he found its 
treasures all gone. There were many such cases. Men sold 
their estates in Middle Georgia, bought gold lots and at- 
tempted gold-mining, and in many cases lost all they had 
invested. There was little besides the mines to lead men to 
settle in the mountains of northeast Georgia. The valleys 
were narrow, the hills were not naturally fertile, and when 
cleared of timber soon washed away, and the mountains 
were too rugged and barren for profitable culture. But the 
scenery was charming and the healthfulness of the country 
perfect; the products were such as were necessary for family 
use, and so to the hard-working man there was a chance 
for a livelihood. 

We have already in a previous chapter given an account 
of the first mountaineers; and while the lapse of twenty 
years had made many changes, and the class of people who 
had come into this section were superior to the first settlers, 
there was much that was very rude. The people had no 
money crop and so money was scarce. The winters came 
early and went. late. Roads were few and poor and the 

424 The Story of Georgia [Chap. ix. 

people necessarily scattered. Those who were fond of ease 
did not find it in the rugged land, and there was little to 
attract the man of means. So settlements were slowly- 
made. There was no considerable change from the moun- 
tains of twenty years before, except that there was less 
game and a less luxuriant pasturage. There were some 
valleys which were so fertile that they drew substan- 
tial farmers from North Carolina, but in the main the 
people were still poor and illiterate. The settlers were 
mainly from the mountains of North and South Carolina, 
and the country was settled slowly. The gold mania, how- 
ever, had made the mountain country known, and many 
who came to dig gold bought little farms and built cabins 
and raised large families of sturdy children. 

The hill country of Cobb, Forsyth and Cherokee has 
been already described in telling of the foot-hills of the 
Blue Ridge in the eastern part of the State. Indeed, these 
hill lands of Cherokee and Cobb and Forsyth were largely 
peopled by those who came to them from Franklin, Jackson, 
Hall and Madison — eastern counties of the same kind. 
Gold was looked for in all these Cherokee counties, and so 
the lots were only forty acres in size. When gold was not 
found and there was no mdication of it the lands were very 
cheap; from Sio to S20 was the price of a single lot, and 
many a man bought a small farm for the price of an Indian 
pony. The cheapness of the lands led to rapid and thick 
settlement. The country was soon filled up with enter- 
prising young people, and numbers who became substantial 
farmers on large farms began life in one of these Cherokee 
counties on forty acres of poor land. 

While the homes of the planters in eastern and middle 
Georgia were elegant and well furnished, there was much of 
upper and lower Georgia in which there was the same sim- 
plicity of life which had belonged to the settlers in eastern 


AND THE Georgia People. 425 

Georgia a hundred years before. The people in all this 
hill country were a sturdy, brave and self-reliant ])eople. 

Their literary culture was very limited. It is likely that, 
outside of the mines and the country towns, there were in 
none of these new counties a half-dozen classical scholars, 
and but a small number had had any training in English, 
many could not write and some could not read. 

For some years there was not an academy in any of these 
counties where the classics were taught. There was not a 
piano in them outside a few in the villages. There were 
few negroes and little wealth, but there was no pauperism. 
The men plowed, and the women did the household work 
and often helped in the field. The people had never known 
luxury and were independent of it. 

The country was not an easy one to subdue. The land 
was stony and often sterile, but the water was cool, the air 
bracing, and, though the land was not rich, it produced 
enough to give a comfortable support. A worthier people 
never lived. 

While the class who had settled this new country were, 
as a general thing, men of little property and of little cul- 
ture, and while there were many of them rude and disposed 
to wild revelry, there were many of a different class. They 
lived in cabins, but their cabins were clean and neat. They 
were pious and industrious, and the camp-ground and the 
log schoolhouse and the log church were sure to be near 
their homes. The Baptists had churches, often cabins 
of logs, in every nook, and the Methodist circuit -rider 
reached every settlement. The most gifted men of the 
Methodist Church were presiding elders in this section. 
There were scattered through these counties, chiefly in the 
country villages, some highly educated Presbyterian minis- 
ters, men of cultivation, who were preaching or teaching. 

There was much intemperance still in the country, but 
during this period the great total abstinence movement was 

426 The Story of Georgia [Chap. IX. 

being pressed. Men like James O. Andrew, Adiel Sher- 
wood and Jos. C. Stiles were ardent friends and workers for 
total abstinence; and Josiah Flournoy, one of the wealthiest 
men in Georgia, was canvassing Georgia for signatures to a 
petition against allowing liquors to be retailed. He was 
bitterly opposed and his life was threatened, his gig was 
smeared, his horses' tails were shaved, and every annoy- 
ance that could be heaped on the good man he was called 
on to encounter, but he kept bravely on. He had many 
backers, but the politicians were against him and his ad- 
vance movement was defeated. 

There was now every variety of life to be found in Geor- 
ofia. The uneducated, uncouth farmer from the mountains 
was in the Legislature side by side with the aristocratic sea 
island planter and the cultivated, college-bred lawyer from 
the city; or the educated, wealthy planter from Wilkes or 
Hancock — men like Colquitt and McDonald and Stephens 
and Toombs — were the political friends of men who lived 
in log cabins and could barely read and were unable to write 
their names, but who could carry their counties in any 

While some parts of Georgia had been settled a hundred 
years, this new country had just been opened, and there was 
found in it all the features of frontier life. There were but 
few slaves and few comforts as yet in it. The log cabin 
with one room was still the home of the settler. Governor 
Gilmer, after he left his place in Congress and before he 
was elected governor, in 1837 made a tour from his home 
in middle Georgia to Montgomery, Ala., and back in his 
private carriage. In returning he says : "We arrived a 
little before night at the home of a man in Carroll county 
who had sixteen children. The family lived in one room 
without a loft. There were three beds in the room, and I 
and my wife occupied one. The next morning when I 
wanted a towel for my wife, the hospitable hostess took a 

1829-1837.] AND THE GEORGIA PeOPLE. 427 

a shirt of one of the boys and tore off a part of it and gave 
it to me for my wife to wipe her face and hands on." The 
aristocratic Virginia lady was asleep when this provision for 
her comfort was made, and was in blissful ignorance of 
whence the rag came which she used as a towel. The next 
night, he says, they spent in a house located in a potato 
patch and for supper ate "'sobbed' Irish potatoes and 
coffee with one grain to the gallon, without milk or sugar." 
These frontier hardships were found only in the newly 
settled counties, where houses were few and far between. 

In the mines there was a shameless disregard of all moral- 
requirements. Men were a law unto themselves, and even 
in so old a county as Murray the courts were often broken 
up by a lawless mob. 

At the great gatherings on court days and muster days 
there were in nearly all the county towns scenes of wild rev- 
elry. In all these there was a grog-shop and a country 
fiddler, and the drinking crowd had a shake-down dance, a 
fight or a horse-race, and sometimes all of them. 

"In Cobb," White says, "Judge Warner, being greatly 
annoyed by a drunken man, as there was no jail, ordered 
the sheriff to put the head of the culprit between the fence- 
rails of a horse-lot near the cabin in which the court was 
held. The sheriff did not return to the court-room, and 
when sent for was found sitting on the fence to keep his 
prisoner from escaping." Another judge, who had no jail 
but an old stable, was annoyed by a drunken man who 
boasted loudly that he was a " hoss." "Mr. Sheriff," said 
the judge, "put that horse in the stable." 

The curse of the land was the cross-roads groggery, 
which was found in every neighborhood. 

The old field school, which had ceased to exist in the 
older parts of the State, had been transferred to the newer 
counties in the north and west of the State; and schools 

428 The Story of Georgia [Chap. ix. 

were found only in a few places and for a few month in the 

The roads were still execrable in winter time in all 
Georgia, and the heavy stage and great wagon in the cotton 
region made their way over rough causeways and plowed 
through oceans of mud. 

During this period the State made ite first benevolent 
movement by making an appropriation for the relief of the 
deaf and dumb and for lunatics. 

John Jacobus Flournoy,* a wealthy man, was deaf and 
dumb, and his sympathy for those who were suffering like 
himself led him to his active work to secure some help for 
them. The legislature made a liberal appropriation for 
their education, and they were sent to New Haven, Conn., 
until an asylum for their relief was established at Cave 

A Mr. Bevan, who unhappily died before he began his 
work, received an appropriation of four hundred and fifty 
dollars to enable him to collect materials for a history of 
Georgia, in which there was to be an account of (i) the 
original settlement, (2) trade, manufactures and natural 
history, (3) peculiar settlements, (4) academies, (5) various 
religious sects, and (6) manners and customs. 

An effort was made to provide a State library, but the 
bill failed. 

By Governor Schley's suggestion ten thousand dollars 
were appropriated to a geological survey, and Dr. Cotting, 
to whom White is so largely indebted for his mineralogical 
and geological information, made a careful survey of the 
various counties in the State, and gave the first full account 
of its larore mineral resources. 

There was great excitement in gold-mining. Now and 
then a rich pocket would be opened, and thousands of pen- 
nyweights would be taken in a few days; and then it would 

* See sketch Jackson county. 


AND THE Georgia People. 429 

be emptied, and all that had been made would be lost in a 
vain search for another. There were, of course, great frauds 
perpetrated on the inexperienced prospector. Mines were 
salted and sold; brass filings, and even gold dust itself, was 
used to mislead. The most innocent looking rustic was 
wise in the art of deceiving the unwary. A prospector heard 
of a discovery of gold in an obscure part of one of the 
counties. He and his associates rode out to see about it. 
They met the rough farmer who was the owner of the 
reputed mine on his way to mill. He said he did not know 
much about it; but " thar mout be gold in the branch bot- 
tom; he had seed what they told him was signs. He was 
obleedged to go to mill; but they would find his leetle boy 
at the cabin, and he would show 'em whar to dig." They 
went to the cabin, and the little tow-headed boy led them 
to the branch bottom. They began to wash the dirt, and 
sure enough they found some grains of gold. They were 
delighted at the prospect, when the little fellow said : "You 
uns had better dig over thar. Dad put most of it in that 
ar place." That mine was not sold to those prospectors. 

The mines were scattered all through the country — in 
Gilmer, in Union, in Lumpkin, in Habersham, in Hall, in 
Cherokee, in Pickens, in Cobb, in what is now White, and 
Towns and Rabun. No one could tell where the rich find 
might be; so the prospectors were scattered over the hills 
and in the valleys in every direction. There was but little 
produced in the way of food crops, and the wagons from 
Tennessee and North Carolina came laden with supplies for 
the miners. 

There was not always failure in mining. The first mine 
was found in the garden of a local Methodist preacher near 
Nacoochee, the Rev. Mr. Richardson. It was very rich, 
and the owner reaped a large return from it. When Dr. 
Mitchell, the agent of Emory College, visited him, to ask 
a subscription to the college, he gave him an astonishingly 

430 The Story of Georgia [Chap. IX»- 

large one. The agent proposed to take his note for the J 
amount. "No," said the old miner; "I had as well pay it j 
now." And he counted out the amount in gold eagles. ! 

An Englishman by the name of Hockenhull had been '. 
digging gold with some success in the mines. His York- i 
shire sweetheart had crossed the sea to meet her lover and ; 
had joined him in the mountains of Georgia, where they 
were wedded. The thrifty little Englishman and his fair 
bride prospered, and they had laid by a snug sum when he : 
ventured to open a new mine. The shaft was sunk at large | 
expense and weary days went by, but the gold was not 
found. At last the savings were all gone and the miner 
was out of heart. 

"Mary dear," he said, "we are ruined. I have spent 
every dollar we had and we have not a color yet." 

"Be of good heart, Johnny dear," she said, "dig on a. 
little while longer and by God's blessing you'll come out." 

And so he did. She said: 

"The very next day he struck it 'rich,' and that mine 
made his fortune." 

The placer miners were a wild race. 

"Oh yez! oh yez! " one said, "Brother Jackson will 
preach at Bill Jones's shack to-night at early candle-light." 

" Oh yez! oh yez! " said another voice, '' I will run my 
faro bank to-night, beginning at early candle-light." 

There was but little to attract men to the farms when, 
the land was so poor and the prospect for a fortune in 
mining was so bright, and so most of the people were 
gold-diggers. There was much gold dug, but it was a 
question whether each gold nugget had not cost more than 
it was worth. 

This Cherokee country now opened to the whites em- 
braced in its boundary the only body of blue limestone 
land in the State. In the area in which is now Murray, 
Whitfield, Walker, Dade, Chattooga, Gordon, Cass (now 


AND THE Georgia People. 431 

Bartow), Floyd and Polk counties, there was a magnificent 
body of limestone land along the banks of the Coosa- 
wattee, the Oostanaula, the Connesauga, the Etowah rivers, 
the Euharlee and Cedar creeks, and there were some beau- 
tiful valleys in which the Cherokees had their town. These 
lands had been cultivated by them in corn almost exclu- 
sively. When the whites occupied them their great value 
as wheat and cotton lands was recognized. Some of the 
improvements which the Indians had made on them were of 
a superior kind, and when the country was opened to white 
settlers they found fields already cleared and houses already 
built, and these were bought by men of means, and large 
plantations were at once secured. The country was a mag- 
nificent wheat and corn country, and this part of the State 
soon became the granary of Georgia. 

It was not long after the opening of this country and the 
removal of the Indians before the Western and Atlantic 
railroad began to make its way towards Ross Landing on 
the Tennessee river. 

The prospect of rapid transit to the Atlantic and the 
fact that there was a certainty that steamers would be put 
on the Coosa at Rome, opening up a fine country in Ala- 
bama, led enterprising men to make large ventures in this 

During the days before 1840 there was a steady influx 
of wealthy settlers from middle Georgia and from South- 
Carolina, and this section became populated at a very early 
date with a body of most enterprising and thrifty people. 
Its rich mineral resources had been even then discovered, 
but were not developed. No part of the State was settled 
more rapidly and by a worthier people. 

There had been a period of great inflation in every part 
of America, and nowhere to a greater extent than in Geor- 
gia, but the time of liquidation had come. The banks had 
issued millions of notes, and had but little specie with which 

432 The Story of Georgia [Chap. IX. 

to redeem them. They had loaned their notes freely to 
planters and taken personal security for them. The State 
had gone largely into the banking business. The Great 
Central Bank of Georgia was resorted to by all who needed 
discounts and who were in political favor, until it had mil- 
lions of notes in circulation, which were protected by the 
credit of the State. 

When President Jackson removed the government de- 
posits from the United States bank and placed them in the 
State banks the panic of 1834 followed. This panic did 
not affect Georgia perceptibly. The price of cotton kept 
up, the local banks furnished money freely, and, while in 
the North and West there was a time of great financial dis- 
tress, in the South money was easy. 

It has been the rule with all writers on this great panic 
of 1837 to attribute it to General Jackson's arbitrary order 
and to the failure to recharter the United States bank. This 
Mr, Benton denies, and seemingly with good reason, Mr. 
McCullough, however, holds to that position, but gives as 
a reason for it that the banks were led by the holding of 
United States deposits to encourage wild trading and pre- 
pare the way for disaster. 

The financial crash of 1837 began in England, and caused 
the suspension of scores of banks and the downfall of hun- 
dreds of factories in that kingdom. The banks in the east- 
ern American cities were forced to the wall, and as the 
tidal wave swept on it reached Georgia and all the banks 
except two suspended. Up to this time, although there had 
been all the commotion excited by the Jackson panic of 
1834, although there had been some few failures in Macon 
and Columbus, there had been no distrust of the soundness 
of the State banks generally; but now they nearly all sus- 
pended. Cotton had been very high, running in 1836 as 
high as 17 cents a pound. Money was easy. Speculation 
was wild. The banks were engaged in a bitter war with 


AND THE Georgia People. 433 

each other, and there was not the slightest indication of the 
coming storm; but it burst suddenly and swept England, 
desolated the cities of North America, and for ten years 
raged with fury in Georgia. 

The character of the calamity it brought and a fuller his- 
tory of it will be given in the next chapter. 

At no time, perhaps, in Georgia history was there a fiercer 
political strife than at this time. The long and bitter war 
between the Clarke and Crawford parties, which only ended 
in the death of W. H. Crawford and the retirement of John 
Clarke from Georgia, had been almost entirely personal. 
There was no political principle involved, and it was merely 
a strife between leaders. The tariff question of 1828 found 
all parties in full agreement, all opposed to protection; but 
when the nullification measure in South Carolina was pro- 
posed parties became fiercely antagonistic and were divided 
by plain lines. The Troup party was an anti-Jackson nulli- 
fication party in the main. The Clarke party was generally 
for Jackson and the Union. The celebrations of the fourth 
of July were still observed, and a great dinner or barbecue 
always attended them. The political banqueters found 
these occasions a good time to toast the nullifiers or roast 
Andrew Jackson or Martin Van Buren, or vice versa. As 
is well known, the compromise measure of Mr. Clay averted 
a strife which at one time seemed inevitable. The blue 
cockade had been worn by defiant nullifiers, and the Jack- 
son men cried "Treason!" vociferously. The scales were 
evenly balanced in Georgia. 

The congressional delegation was about evenly divided. 
Mr. Berrien and Mr. Forsyth were pronounced Jackson 
men; Governor Gilmer was opposed to nullification but not 
an adherent of Jackson. 

It was during this time that young Robert Toombs, hearty, 
genial, fearless and gifted, first made his power as a young 


434 The Story of Georgia [Chap. IX- 

orator felt, and "Little Aleck," as Mr. Stephens was called, 
first caught the admiring ear of the Georgia people. They 
were anti-Jackson, States' rights men. Out oi these two 
parties, known as States' rights men and Union men, sprang, 
during the next decade, the Whigs and Democrats. 

The newspapers had now increased in number and influ- 
ence, and they were intensely partizan. There were now 
leading papers in Savannah, Augusta, Milledgeville, Macon 
and Columbus. The list, as given by the Macon Telegraph, 
in 1832 was : 

The Athenian, Athens; the Chronicle, the Constitutiojialist, 
the Courier, Augusta; the Enquirer, Columbus; the Georgia 
Messenger, the Advertiser, Macon; the Recorder, the yournal, 
Milledgeville; the Advertiser, Mt. Zion; the Republican, the 
Georgian, Savannah; the Cabi?iet, the News, the Christian 
Index, Washington; the Christia?i Repertory, Macon; the 
Midlers' Journal, Dahlonega; and papers in Cassville, Coving- 
ton, Darien, Brunswick and Bainbridge. 

The Georgian and Republican, Savannah, and the Chrotdcle : 
and Constitutiojialist, Augusta, were the dailies. | 

The strict construction views of the majority of Georgians ' 
had made any movement toward establishing a common 
school system of education abortive. There had been, how- 
ever, some provision to advance the cause of education. ; 
There had been appropriated ^500,000 to poor schools and \ 
academies, the interest of the sum to be equally divided i 
between them. No academy could get a share of the fund 
unless it was chartered, and this led to their being very nu- 
merous. They had the names of academies and a large 1 
board of trustees and a charter, but had few other features ; 
of a school of high grade. In 1834 there were forty-seven : 
counties in which there were academies, in some several. | 
The number increased annually until there were few coun- 
ties in which there was not at least one. In many of these 
only the English branches were taught, and but few of ; 



AND THE Georgia People. 435 

them had a hundred pupils. The amount granted to them 
was divided according to the number of pupils. The poor 
school fund was very small, and was carefully dispensed. 

An application was made to the comptroller setting forth 
the number of children who attended school and the 
teachers were paid five cents a day for each pupil. Often 
the teachers did not render any account, and in 1834 there 
were forty-two counties who received nothing from the 
fund. Schools were established mainly by private effort, 
and in every neighborhood where there were well-to-do 
people there was a good grammar-school or an academy. 
In several of the counties there were female academies. 
There was no general system of education and there was 
much illiteracy in the State, and $2,000 was appropriated 
by the Legislature to pay the cost of a commission, who 
should look closely into the common school system of New 
England and see if it might not wisely be introduced into 

The plan of manual labor schools came before the Leg- 
islature and received its indorsement. 

While the State did something for academies and poor 
schools, it did nothing for the university, which depended 
on its tuition fees and the rental of the lands which had 
been given long before. 

The religious history of this period has no such story of 
great advance as had that of the decade which preceded it. 
There was too much political strife and too much eagerness 
after money to favor religious movements, but the great 
revival of the last years of the twenties had left its effect 
upon all the churches. The Baptists and Methodists had 
mainly profited by the great awakening, though the Pres- 
byterians had shared with them in the ingathering. The 
Georgia Conference of the Methodists had now been cut 
off from the South Carolina and was making an earnest 
and to some degree successful effort to send the gospel to 

436 The Story of Georgia [Chap. IX. 

all parts of Georgia and Florida, The war in Florida with 
the Seminoles had to some degree disturbed things in the 
newer counties in southern Georgia; but in the up-country 
among the Indians there had been a good work done and 
circuits already laid, and so when the Indians were removed 
the itinerant preachers were on the ground. The circuits 
were very large, but the preachers preached nearly every 
day, and the people attended a week-day service almost as 
well as they attended one on the Sabbath. The camp- 
meetings were still a great influence for good, and were 
found in all the counties, new and old. We will get a 
more satisfactory account by glancing at each county in 

It was during this period that the great railroad system 
which has grown to such proportions in Georgia had its 
beginning. Railway building was in its infancy in the 
United States, but a line of road had been built out from 
Charleston reaching towards Augusta, and now, as we have 
seen elsewhere, plans were made to reach the interior of 
Georgia by railways. Many of these were chartered but 
never built, others chartered were never begun, but some 
were successfully carried through. 

The first of these was the Central, which was to run 
from Savannah to Macon. It was chartered as the Central 
Railway and Canal Company, and an experimental survey 
was made under Colonel Cruger in 1834. There were two 
routes under consideration, one going through the hill 
country and making an air-line from Savannah to Macon; 
the other following the rivers and keeping near the water- 
courses. The last route was the one selected. The country 
through which the road made its way was very flat and 
swampy, and while heavy grading was not necessary, much 
bridging was demanded. There was an abundance of yel- 
low pine along the way, and railroad building in those 
days demanded much timber. The iron was a flat bar 


1829-1837.] -'^ND THE GEORGIA TeoPLE. 437 

which was laid on a stringer and the stringers laid on cross- 
ties. Railroad building was in its infancy and the con- 
struction was very difficult and slow. There were no labor- 
saving machines and all the excavation and fillings were 
made with the shovel, the hand-barrow and dumping-cart. 
There was no town on the entire line of two hundred miles 
between Savannah and Macon, and all hope of a revenue 
depended upon the completion of the line. A bank was 
chartered to furnish funds, and the bills issued by it were 
used to pay the expense of construction. 

The panic of 1837 came, with its desolations, soon after 
the road was begun, and the road was just completed when 
the depression ended. The first president of the road was 
W. W. Gordon, and its first chief engineer L. O. Rey- 
nolds, Esq. 

The Georgia Railroad and Turnpike Company was char- 
tered in 1833, but the work was not begun until 1835. It 
was to run from Augusta to some undesignated point in 
middle Georgia. It had the same difficulties to encounter 
that had been met by its associate the Central, except that 
as it went westward it entered the hill country sooner and 
heavy grading was necessary. The laborers were im- 
ported Irishmen, and the engineer corps came from Penn- 
sylvania. The Georgia Railroad Bank was chartered to 
give help to the construction, and in ten years from the 
time the work was begun in Augusta the road reached the 
village of Marthasville, in Dekalb county, where is now 
the city of Atlanta. 

There was a decided objection on the part of the villages 
and towns along the line to having the road pass directly 
through them, and while the Georgia passed near the towns 
it left some of them a mile or more on one side. 

Perhaps the most daring venture at this period was the 
enterprise entered into by the young city of Macon and the 
surrounding country to help it reach the west by a line of 

438 The Story of Georgia [Chap. ix. 

railway built largely by its own capital. It was at first 
designed to connect Forsyth in Monroe county with Macon 
and give the cotton-planters an easier way of conveying 
their cotton to market. It, too, was to be built by a bank, 
and an elegant building, now occupied by the city authori- 
ties in Macon, was erected for a banking building and rail- 
road ofifices. The heaviest work on the line was at the 
beginning of the work near Macon in cutting through the 
river hills; but the undaunted president, Mr. Griffin, despite 
the heavy outlay, did the work and declared a dividend of 
ten per cent, as soon as the first few miles were completed. 
The road had great difficulties to overcome, and, as we will 
see in the next chapter, the bank upon whose support it 
rested was forced at last to suspend for an indefinite time. 
Then the bank failed, and the road was sold and completed 
to Atlanta under another name. The banking house was 
sold, and after having been a medical college and a ware- 
house, it became at last a city hall. When the road became 
involved the directors worked hard to save it. They issued 
bank notes of all denominations and even change bills as 
low as 6% cents. They made the loudest boasts of their 
progress, and called for new subscriptions to stock. In 
1842 the road had an engine, the "Ocmulgee," and a pas- 
senger coach with three compartments capable of accom- 
modating sixty-seven passengers. It had a line of stages 
at its terminus, which was Barnesville, to convey passengers 
northward, and in 1842 one could ride in the handsome new 
car forty miles for $3.15; and the total receipts for six 
months were for freight $6,162, and for passengers $12,451. 
For years the bills had been under suspicion, and were hard 
to circulate out of Macon; but the bank pluckil}^ attempted 
to resume specie payment. It made a pathetic effort to 
furnish what it did not have, using all kinds of delaying 
artifices; but the inevitable came. The bank failed hope- 
lessly, and the railroad had to be sold. It had reached 

1829-1837.] AND THE GEORGIA PEOPLE. 439 

Griffin, and a part of the line was laid with wooden rails 
and the cars were drawn by mules. The brave Griffin had 
made a hard fight and gone down and carried his friends 
with him. The road was bought by a Northern company 
for a song and reorganized as the Macon and Western, and 
for years was the best railroad property in Georgia. 

The Western and Atlantic railroad was to run from some 
xindesignated point in DeKalb county to Ross Landing on 
the Tennessee river. It was one of the most difficult enter- 
prises ever ventured on in Georgia. The other two great 
lines had some connection by water with the outside world, 
and could secure material for building with but little diffi- 
culty; but this road was to begin in the wilderness, over 
one hundred miles from the nearest point to a navigable 
river. There were rivers to bridge, great hills of stone to 
be cut through and mountains to tunnel. Every pound of 
iron and every working tool had to be brought from Macon. 
The work had no financial backing but the credit of the 
State, and had but begun when the financial crash of 1837 
came on. But, despite all these difficulties, ten years after 
the first dirt was broken the cars ran from Ross Landing 
to Marthasville, or, as they are now known, from Atlanta 
to Chattanooga. 

When one considers that railroad building in the United 
States was just begun, and that these roads were built by 
money furnished by stockholders and not on money bor- 
rowed on bonds, the work of building them will appear to be, 
as it was, a remarkable achievement. The roads were long 
in process of construction, and all of them were built on the 
same plan, with long stringers and flat bars, and all had the 
same small wood-burning locomotives. 

I have, in order not to break abruptly the continuity of 
the story, anticipated the events of the next decade. 

We turn now to the study of the counties. 

440 The Story of Georgia [Chap. IX. 


Heard county was laid out in 1830 from Troup, Carroll 
and Coweta and named in honor of that brave patriot 
Stephen Heard. 

The eastern part of the county was very rugged, a part 
of it near Coweta very red land, and a great deal of it gray 
land broken into many hills. There were some good plan- 
tations on the Chattahoochee river and on the creeks. The 
western part of the county was a great pine forest, and had 
in it one of the largest quarries of monumental granite in 
the State. There is some fine land in the county, but much 
of it is only moderately fertile. 

It was settled in the main by men of small means and 
plain ways. They were of the best class of Georgia yeo- 
manry, and in no county is there less pauperism or a 
better standard of morals than in the larger part of the 
county. There are some sections of Heard, on the hills 
near Alabama, as in all these western counties, where there 
is a great deal of illicit distilling and a rude people. 

Franklin, the county site, is a small village on the river. 
The advantages possessed by the railroad towns have pre- 
vented its becoming a place of importance. Corinth and 
Houston are two small villages in other parts of the county. 


In 1830 the county of Stewart was formed from Ran- 
dolph, and was named Stewart in honor of General Daniel 

Its topographical features are very much like those of the 
county from which it was taken and which have been de- 
scribed. In one part of it the pine woods give wa}^ to lofty 
oak-clad hills of rich red soil, but land easily washed away. 
Along the river there are fine cotton lands on which at one 
time there were large plantations. 

The county was rapidly peopled, and was a populous 

1829-1837.] -A^ND THE GEORGIA PEOPLE. 441 

county soon after its settlement, but was for a long time 
dependent upon the boats and the wagon-trains alone for 
communication with the outside world. 

It was in Stewart, at a village called Roanoke, that the 
Creek Indians made their last serious attack on a white 
settlement in Georgia. The little village was on the Chat- 
tahoochee river, and the attack was made in 1836 by, as 
was supposed, three hundred Indians. There were few 
people then in the fort; but of the number twenty were 
killed and wounded. There was another more serious 
battle with this same body of Indians at Dr. Shephard's 
plantation a short time after this in which the Indians were 
defeated and twelve white men killed and as many 

Lumpkin, the county site, has long been famous for its 
refinement and morality. 

Two railroads have been built through Stewart in the 
last few years, and the county has taken on new life and 
promising little towns have sprung up along the lines. 

Stewart had in it bodies of fertile land suitable for large 
cotton plantations, and these sections were appropriated by 
the wealthy slaveholders, and were owned in many cases by 
absentee landlords, who only occasionally visited their 
plantations. But much of the land was admirably suited 
for homes, and many of the neighborhoods were the abode 
of farmers who lived on their plantations and built up a 
good community. 


Sumter county was laid out in 1831 from Lee, and was 
named in honor of General Thomas Sumter, " the Game 
Cock of Carolina," as he was called. Its county site was 
called Americus. The physical features belonging to all 
this section of Georgia, and of which we have written, were 
those of Sumter. The rich cotton lands which were found 

442 The Story op G-eorgia [Chap. ix. 

in the hummocks along the creeks and rivers early drew 
the attention of the planters of Bibb, Jones, Jasper and 
Monroe, and large plantations were opened by them. There 
was a large section of the country which was a pine forest 
and was for a long time a cattle-range, but which is now an 
excellent planting section. 

The county has been almost latticed with railways, and 
Americus has become quite a railroad center. 

The county has been noted for the high character of the 
people, who were mainly immigrants from the older coun- 
ties. There were some large plantations owned by up- 
country people, but the larger number of the planters lived 
on their plantations or in the city of Americus. 

Americus, the chief town in Sumter, is a beautiful little 
city, in which there has been much enterprise and public 
spirit. It built the Americus Female College before the 
.war, and was noted for its handsome churches and intelli- 
gent congregations at that period. It was, before the war, 
the center of much wealth, and after it was over it took on 
a new life. Aiming to get into closer connection with Sa- 
vannah, it enterprized and, largely by its own capital and 
almost entirely by its own energy, built the S. A. M. road, 
first to Savannah on the east and then to Montgomery, Ala., 
on the west. It has established factories for the manufac- 
ture of fertilizers and ice, sash, blinds, etc., and has an ele- 
gant hotel, a fine system of public schools, sprightly news- 
papers, and is otherwise a stirring, prosperous city. 

It was in this county, on a high pine hill, that the old prison 
camp of Andersonville was located, and there is at Ander- 
sonville a national cemetery under care of the United States 

The Methodists, Baptists, Presbyterians and Episcopa- 
lians have all churches in Americus and through Sumter 
county, and there are good schools and good churches in 
every neighborhood. 


AND THE Georgia People. 443 


The county of Cobb, which was named in honor of Judge 
Thomas W. Cobb, was laid out from the Cherokee purchase 
in 1832, It was the most southerly of the counties of the 
purchase. As gold had been found in the county the lots 
granted comprised only forty acres, and as they were quite 
cheap in price, Cobb was soon thickly settled by a very ex- 
cellent though, in the main, a poor people. There were 
but few slaves, and they were almost entirely confined to 
the plantations along the river and larger creeks, or were 
household servants in Marietta. The immigrants to the 
rural districts came from the older counties of northeast 
Georgia and from upper South Carolina. They were an 
industrious and hardy race of small farmers. The town of 
Marietta derived importance from being the terminus for a 
long time of the newly projected Western and Atlantic 
railroad, and its charming climate soon drew to it quite a 
number of settlers of refinement and wealth from the low- 

The people had small farms which were not very fertile, 
and they were forced to live very economically. For years 
they raised only family supplies, spun and wove their own 
clothing, and handled but little money. Toward Powder 
Springs, on the Chattahoochee river and Sweetwater creek, 
there were some cotton plantations, but the number of ne- 
groes in the county was not one fifth of the population. 

Mr. Roswell King from Darien, when cotton manufactur- 
ing began on a large scale in Georgia, established the Ros- 
well cotton-mills, and founded a charming village around 
them, which is now known as Roswell. This factory was 
well managed from its foundation, and has been one of the 
most profitable mills in the State. It is still in active op- 
eration. For years it was remote from the railroad, but on 
the building of the Southern a branch road was built to it. 

444 The Story of Georgia [Chap. ix. 

The Western and Atlantic railroad goes through the 
center of Cobb, one branch of the Southern through its 
western side and another through its eastern, and the North 
Georgia Railroad goes from Marietta northward to Knox- 
ville, Tenn., and thus all parts of the county have railway 

Marietta, charmingly located at the base of the Kenne- 
saw mountain, has an unrivaled climate and a considera- 
ble population of the best people. It commands a good 
trade from the county and from those which adjoin. 

From the mountains of Cherokee and the hills of Pauld- 
ing, through the great enterprise of General William Phil- 
lips, a citizen of Marietta, a railroad was projected and 
finally completed from Marietta first to Murphy, N. C, and 
then to Knoxville, Tennessee. It passed directly through 
the great marble region of upper Georgia. The rich quar- 
ries were opened and polishing mills were erected near 
Marietta, and the marble prepared for ornamental, monu- 
mental and building purposes. These mills have been very 
successful and prosperous. A paper-mill is also in the 
county, and a woolen-mill, and there are quite a number of 
other enterprises. 

The convenience of Marietta to Atlanta, and its great 
attractiveness as a place of residence, has made it a place 
for the homes of some who do business in Atlanta. 

Acworth is quite a sprightly town above Marietta, and 
Smyrna a place of some attractiveness south of Marietta. 
Powder Springs on the Southern road is a very sprightly 

During the war Marietta, which was near the Kennesaw 
mountain, was a focal point, and on all sides of it the war 
raged. On the Kennesaw General Polk was killed, and in 
Marietta the great burial ground of the thousands of Fed- 
erals who fell between Chattanooga and Atlanta is located. 

It was in Marietta that the Rev, George White, an Epis- 

i829-i8o7.] AND THE Georgia People. 445 

copal minister, to whom Georgia is so much indebted for 
preserving her records and for giving an account of her 
resources and sketches of her people, lived for many years; 
and "White's Statistics" and "White's Historical Collec- 
tions" were prepared here. Mr. White was a Georgian by 
birth. He was at one time a Methodist preacher, but while 
a young man joined the Episcopal ministry. He was a man 
of fine parts and was very industrious. He was enthusi- 
astically devoted to Georgia history, and, having resided 
for many years in Savannah, had excellent facilities for its 
study. He published "White's Statistics" in 1850, and 
five years afterward a much more expensive and extensive 
work, known as "Historical Collections." His work has 
been of inestimable value to me in preparing this history. 
After publishing the " Historical Collections," which was 
probably not a remunerative work, he reentered the minis- 
try and while in charge of a church in Memphis died. 

To Adiel Sherwood, the Baptist preacher, to Wm. Bacon 
Stevens, the Episcopal bishop, to Mr. White, the village 
parson, and to Colonel C. C. Jones, Georgia is largely in- 
debted for a knowledge of her resources and her history. 

Governor McDonald lived for many years in Marietta, 
and died there. He was governor of Georgia in the trying 
times of the great depression which began in 1837 and 
continued during all the days of his administration. He 
was an upright man and a wise counselor. 

Judge David Irwin, who lived here, was a famous jurist 
and one of the first codifiers of Georgia laws. He beo-an 
life as a shoemaker, but by dint of real talents and great 
energy became one of the leading lawyers in upper Georgia 
and a judge. 

General Hansell, a descendant of the distinguished Harris 
family, a lawyer of note and a man of affairs, resided here 
and was for many years president of the Roswell cotton 

446 The Story of Georgia [Chap. IX. 

But no man ever cast a brighter luster on the county of 
his birth than W. D. Anderson, D.D. He was a gifted 
young man, the son of a distinguished father who had been 
a judge of the superior court in which the son practiced, 
but who had died when his son was an infant. Younof 
Anderson had the best of stepfathers and had every advan- 
tage of education. He graduated with honor in Athens; 
went from his college class to the army and won his laurels 
there; returned to Marietta, studied law and rose to a high 
place; entered politics, was in the convention which framed 
the constitution of 1868, and was elected speaker pro tem. 
of the House of Representatives; but laid all his honors 
down for the Methodist ministry. Few men were ever 
more beloved or more useful or more gifted. The degree 
of D.D. was conferred on him by Emory College, and the 
highest honors of the church awaited him, when he was 
suddenly called away, dying in the brightest bloom of life. 

George N. Lester, a lawyer of great ability, attorney- 
general of the State, a warm-hearted, impetuous, fearless 
soldier and an orator of no mean parts, who began life in 
the hills of Forsyth and ended it in the vicinity of Marietta, 
long lived here. 

While Cobb was long regarded as one of the poor coun- 
ties of Georgia, such has been the character of her people 
and their industry and enterprise, that for su-ccessive years 
she bore off the prize of one thousand dollars which the 
State Agricultural Society offered for the county furnishing 
the greatest variety of products. 

Cobb has always been a religious county. The rural 
people, while not cultured, have been noted for honesty 
and simplicity of life. The Methodists are perhaps the 
leading denomination, but the Baptists are very numerous 
and influential. The Presbyterians and Episcopalians have 
quite a large membership in the city of Marietta. 

The city of Marietta was for a number of years the seat 

1829-1837.] AND THE GEORGIA PeOPLE. 447 

of the only military institute Georgia then had, the Georgia 
Military Institute, which was burned during the war and 
has never been rebuilt. 

The city has now a good system of public schools, and 
the county is well supplied with schools supported by the 
common school fund. 

There are some very handsome churches in Marietta, 
and its proximity to the marble quarries has enabled the 
church builders to use this costly material very lavishly. 

The city of Marietta is famous for the beauty of its 
homes, and it has been a favorite place of residence for 
distinguished men. Senator Clay has his residence here, 
and has been a prominent lawyer here for years. The city 
is quite a favorite resort for those who want a dry climate 
in winter and a bracing one in summer. 


When the Cherokee country was laid out a county called 
Cherokee, of great size, which has since been much cut 
down, but is still a very large county, was formed. 
The county site was called Canton. As in Cobb, the lots 
were only forty acres each, and as land was cheap the county 
was rapidly settled by white people who had very few 
slaves. In 1850 there was one slave to every ten white in- 

There were some rich lands on the Etowah, and some 
good gold mines near to it, and there were some few people 
of considerable means who fixed their homes in the county, 
but Cherokee was, like Cobb and Forsyth, settled mainly 
by those who had little besides their cheap homes and their 
strong arms. 

When Cherokee was first settled it was very remote from 
any market town. The railroad did not reach the interior 
for ten years after it was thickly settled. There was but 
little produced for sale and the people lived within them- 

448 The Story of Georgia [Chap. IX. 

selves. They had but few schools and they were inferior, 
and their churches were small log houses. The people 
lived plainly and cheaply, but were free from want. Many 
of them were Scotch-Irish and many belonged to the best 
Enorlish stock. They had few slaves, lived hard and 
closely and developed a sturdy manhood. That these peo- 
ple were mainly provincial could but be expected. Their 
wants were few and their aspirations not high; but they 
were a strong, self-reliant people, in no respect differing 
from those of Cobb and Forsyth. There were a few wealthy 
people on the Etowah and Little river, and in the villages, 
but as a general rule they were those worthy yeomanry 
we have so often described. 

The county was a score of miles from the nearest rail- 
road until the North Georgia railroad traversed it. It is 
now in close communication with the northern part of 
Georgia and with Tennessee and Atlanta. 

It was in this county that young Joseph E. Brown began 
the practice of law. Here he married his excellent wife, 
the daughter of a prominent and wealthy Baptist preacher; 
here he was living when he was elected judge, and was 
reaping wheat in his fields when he received the news that 
he was nominated for governor. 

During the early days of the county a family of German 
origin, the Reinhardts, settled in Cherokee, and a scion of 
this family is now living in Atlanta. In 1885 Colonel 
A. M. Reinhardt established a school which bears his name 
and which has since been raised to a country college and 
is doing most excellent work in training teachers and edu- 
cating young people. It is under the patronage of the 
M. E. Church, South. 

The town of Canton, located on the banks of the Eto- 
wah, is now a sprightly mountain town, with its churches 
and schools, and is becoming a desirable up-country resort 
for low-country people. 

1829-1837.] AND THE GEORGIA PeOPLE. 449 

One of the most productive gold mines in Georgia is in 
Cherokee, the Franklin mine, from which an immense 
quantity of gold has been taken during the last sixty years. 

There were discovered some traces of copper which were 
sufficiently promising to lead to the opening of a large 
mine, and an effort was made to smelt the ore, but it was not 
successful. The only rich return was to those who sold 
their holdings to sanguine prospectors. 


Forsyth lies abreast of Cherokee, with Cobb on the east; 
and it is impossible to describe Cherokee and Cobb without 
describing Forsyth. It has the same physical features and 
was peopled by the same class of inhabitants, but had a 
few more slaves in proportion to the white population. In 
Cherokee and Cobb there was about one in ten, in Forsyth' 
one in eight. '*'• 

Many of the people of Forsyth bear the same names as 
those of Franklin, and the first settlers came from the foot- 
hill counties in the eastern part of the State. There were 
a few northern people among these early settlers, who came 
to this county as merchants. There was not much first- 
class land in the county, but not a great deal that was not 
arable. Land was cheap and easy to be secured, and, as 
we have seen in Cobb and Cherokee, there were many sep- 
arate landholders and a large number of small farms. The 
Southern railway now skirts Forsyth but does not pass 
through it, and the Forsyth people are still out of the busy 
whirl of life. 

Cumming, the county site, was named for Wm. Cumming, 
who was a townsman of John Forsyth, and, like him, a 
staunch Jackson Democrat. It is a quiet country village, 
with a good school and good churches. 


450 The Story of Georgia [Chap. ix. 

There is little to distinguish this county in any way. It 
was populated with a sturdy, thrifty, religious people, very 
simple in their ways and thoroughly independent. There was 
but little mining interest in the county, and the wild popu- 
lation which belonged to Lumpkin found no abode in For- 
syth, and society from the first was good. 


/ Gilmer county, named in honor of Governor Gilmer, is one 
of the mountain counties, and at the time it was laid out was 
a county of very great size, including what is now a very large 
part of Pickens and Fannin and portions of other counties, 
now contiguous. With the exception of a few small and 
beautiful valleys it is a county of mountain ranges. The 
mountains are covered with timber and are not arable. The 
grass, which grows luxuriantly on some of them, gives good 
range for cattle for a short part of the year, but the moun- 
tains are too steep for good pastures. The streams are 
many, and on their borders are narrow strips of moderately 
good land. The timber resources of the county are very 
fine, but the white pine, hemlock, oak and poplar are too 
far from any market to make lumbering profitable. The 
valleys of the Coosawattee, the Ellijay and the Cartecay are 
very beautiful and fertile, but limited in area. 

The lands were granted in lots of i6o acres, and many of 
these lots fell to men living in the lower counties of the 
State, and were counted as of so little value that they were 
never claimed, and some of them were taken by squatters 
from Georgia and other State. There were some very 
profitable gold mines in the county when it was first settled, 
and the White Path mjne was said, when first opened, to be 
fabulously rich. Man}' of the people who settled in Gilmer 
were very poor and illiterate, but there were quite a num- 
ber of excellent families who occupied the valleys. The 
ruling element, however, was a wild one; and, with few 

1829-1837.] AND THE GEORGIA PEOPLE. 461 

schools and churches and with whisky distilleries in all 
portions of the county, advance for many years was impos- 
sible. Many of the Gilmer people sympathized with the 
United States in the war between the States, and after the 
war were pronounced Republicans. Many of them con- 
nected themselves with the M. E. Church (known as North- 
ern Methodists), and the church established a high school 
among them. Then the sale of whisky by retail was for- 
bidden, the railroad came, the common school was put into 
ef^cient operation, new churches were built and new high 
schools opened by the Southern Methodists at Cartecay and 
Blue Ridge, and the general interests of the county are 
improving everywhere. 


There is perhaps less arable land in this county than in 
any other county in the State, and it derives its prominence 
from the extent of its gold fields. Dahlonega, which was 
selected as its county site, was called by the Indians "Yel- 
low Money." In all parts of the county were found placers 
in which some gold was to be found, and when the gold 
fields were opened an immense horde came rushing in. 

There were very few slaves in this section, and in 1850, 
when the county embraced what is now three or four coun- 
ties, there were only 200. 

The large yield of gold led the United States government 
to establish a mint in the growing town of Dahlonega, where 
for a number of years gold was coined. The placers were 
exhausted to a great measure after a few years, and the 
gold fields of California began to attract the miners. For 
some time after they were discovered mining in Lumpkin 
seemed to be at an end. Then was introduced the sluicing 
system, and the hills were washed. down, the veins exposed, 
and the quartz, which had a small quantity of gold, was 
powdered in the mills and the gold collected by quicksil- 

452 The Story of Georgia [Chap. ix. 

ver. Much northern capital was employed, and there has 
been as much gold gathered as in the early days of large 

The intelligence necessary to successful mining has always 
brought into Lumpkin people of broad views and culture, 
and working in mud and slush has called for cheap labor of 
the poorest class, and so the extremes of people have been 
found in this county. 

Through the influence of Colonel Price, a member of 
Congress, who lives in Dahlonega, the United States gov- 
ernment granted the use of the mint, which had been aban- 
doned as a mint, for a college; and the State, which had 
appropriated the large amount given by the United States 
government for an Agricultural and Mechanical College 
to the University and its annexes, made an appropriation 
to this North Georgia and Agricultural College, and it has 
been quite prosperous and has done great good. 

In a county so mountainous and so sterile as Lumpkin, 
whose chief resources are its minerals, the advantages of 
common schools and the blessing of good churches were 
at first sadly lacking. There was, however, on the part 
of the stirring Baptists and the ubiquitous Methodists an 
effort made from its first settlement to- do religious work 
in every section. There were three camp-grounds in the 
county, and in every part of it there was a homely log 
house in which the gospel was preached. 

The changes in this section are many and for the better. 
Prohibition obtains throughout this section, and while there 
are still drunkenness and other immoralities, there is a vast 
advance. Some day a railroad will open up the wondrous 
beauty of this mountain country, and it will be filled with 
delighted tourists. 

On the summit of the mountains there was discovered 
some years ago a fine spring of mineral water, and Colonel 
H. P. Farrow built a handsome hotel on the spot and opened 

182t)-1837.] AND THE GEORGIA i*EOPLE. 453 

it for guests. It has become a noted summer resort which 
is very popular with those who are seeking a restful place 
for the heated term. It is located over thirty miles from 
the railroad, but is a charming retreat from the dust and 
heat of the low-country. 


At the time Union county was formed there was a fierce 
political strife between the nullificrs and the Union men, 
and the new county was called Union because of the devo- 
tion of its people to the union of States and the sympathy 
of a Union Legislature with their views. 

The account we have given of Gilmer is suited to Union, 
for there is but little difference between the two counties. 
Mountains, only broken into by small and narrow valleys, 
cover the county. 

The people were mainly emigrants from North Carolina 
and generally poor, and the farms are generally sterile. 
Along the river there are some beautiful valleys and some 
bodies of excellent land. 

Blairsville, the county site, is quite a small village peo- 
pled by some very good people. 

There are a few gold mines in the county which have 
now and then produced a good yield of gold, but the 
mining resources of the county are limited. 

There were only a few slaves in the county when the 
emancipation proclamation was issued. 

The settlers in Union are of the same class as those who 
inhabit the other counties written of. They have the best 
Virginia and North Carolina names. There are no people in 
Georgia of better blood than these mountaineers, and from 
the families of this hill country have gone men of brawn 
and brain to all sections of the southern country. 

Union has been long difficult to reach. Lying in the lap 
of the Blue Ridge, with mountains on all sides, it has been 

454 The Story of Georgia [Chap. IX. 

out of the lines of travel. There was little for its first 
inhabitants to do save to make a plain livelihood by farm- 
ing, and they have been content with small returns from 
their labors. They made but little for market. Some cab- 
bages, some apples, a few cattle and a little bacon were 
about all they had to sell. They lived among themselves 
and by the aid of their own resources. There has been a 
steady improvement among them for some years, and when 
a railway opens a market for the fine timber, and when 
fruit is grown for market and the charming scenery of the 
country draws the tourist, Union will be appreciated as it 
deserves to be. 


On the west of Gilmer is Murray county, named for 
Speaker Murray of Wilkes. This county was on the west 
side of the Blue Ridge and in the blue limestone country. 
Much of it was very fertile, and perhaps, take it all in all, 
the most beautiful farm in Georgia is located in Murray. 
Where the Coosawattee and the Talking Rock come to- 
gether and form the Connesauga, at the base of the moun- 
tains, are 1,700 acres of beautiful valley land in one body, 
all taken up by one owner, Colonel Carter. But in various 
parts of the county, on the creeks and in the coves, there 
are fertile valleys where clover and timothy grow in great 
luxuriance. This county was a favorite home of the Cher- 
okee Indians, and at Spring Place and near-by were the 
mission schools. The well-built brick houses of some of 
the Indian chiefs are still standing. 

Although the county is new, the country has been inhab- 
ited a very long time, and much of the best land has been 
cultivated over a hundred years. There is in the county 
much sterile land, but there is also much that is productive. 

The people who settled Murray were among the best 
people who came to the mountains, and there was an unu- 
sual amount of wealth for a mountain county. 

1829-1837.] AND THE GEORGIA PEOPLE. 455 

Spring Place, the county site, was a famous up-country- 
town before the railroads came; but since the building of 
railways it has been overshadowed by the towns on the line 
and has declined. There has been quite an exodus from 
the county to the railway, but the best valleys are still well 

The religious concerns of the county have been seen after 
by the Baptists, the Methodists and the Cumberland Pres- 

The school advantages have been very limited. The 
common school system of the State has provided for 
the people of moderate means, and those in better circum- 
stances send their children to Dalton and other railway 

The county in its first settlement was noted for its law- 
lessness, and at one time the judges were prevented from 
holding court by the mob. But by the nerve and determi- 
nation of Judges Kenan and Warner the lawbreakers were 
subdued, and now few counties have a better class of people 
in the main than Murray. 

Spring Place is the county site. The little village was 
famous as a place where the Moravian mission among the 
Cherokees was established and where Mr. Gambold, who 
for so many years gave himself to the work of civilizing this 
tribe, had his home. The American Board of Missions 
also established a mission near here. The chief Vann lived 
in a substantial brick house and cultivated a large planta- 
tion proximate to the village and the mission. He had 
a number of slaves. The remoteness of this mission from 
all demoralizing influences made the work of the missiona- 
ries wonderfully successful. Mission stations with Spring 
Place as a center were established all through the country 
adjacent, and long before the Indians were removed there 
were the circuits of the Methodists and churches of the 

456 The Story of Georgia [Chap. ix. 

When the Indians were removed their improvements 
were bought by white men, many of whom were by no 
means as worthy people as the Indians whom they dis- 

It was in this county that the celebrated J. Howard 
Payne, author of " Home, Sweet Home," at that time a 
correspondent of a New York paper, was arrested and 
treated with such indignity by the guard under a Captain 
Bishop that the Legislature expressed its profound regret 
for the outrage. 


Adjoining the county of Cobb in the west of the newly 
acquired country was Paulding county. It was named in 
honor of one of the captors of Major Andre, the British 
spy, and was when first laid off a very large county, reach- 
ing from Floyd to the Chattahoochee, in what is now 
Douglas county. It was afterward reduced until it has 
reached its present size. 

The county as it now stands is not a fertile one. It is 
very rolling and the land is thin. 

Up to the building of the Southern railway from Rome 
to Atlanta it was shut up in its own hills and was very slow 
in development, but since the coming of the road its im- 
provement has been marked and rapid. 

The settlers of Paulding were of the same people who 
settled Cobb, and life in the rural districts of the two 
counties was much the same. 

Bauxite is found in large quantities in this county, and 
much of it is mined and shipped to the North, where it is 
prepared for manufacture into aluminum. 

Mr. White, who lived in the county adjoining Paulding, 
gives only a very short list of early settlers. The settlers 
were few and their circumstances very humble. They lived, 
as did most of these people of these sterile hills in upper 


AND THE Georgia People. 457 

Georgia, in a very poor way, and when they had no 
markets and raised no cotton, they had but little money 
and few comforts; but when slavery was abolished and fer- 
tilizers brought in, the people began to raise cotton, and 
being near Atlanta, where they find a ready market for 
their poultry and smaller products, they have been rapidly 
improving in population and in their circumstances. 

There are some fine lands and some well-to-do farmers 
on the creeks in some parts of the county. The Sweet- 
water valley has long been noted for its fertility and its 
excellent class of people. 

The proximity of Paulding to Atlanta and Rome and the 
general ruggedness of the country will some day result in 
its becoming a grazing and dairy county, famous for its 
fruits and poultry, and cause it to grow largely in popu- 

There has been decided improvement in the educational 
and religious conditions of the county since the war. The 
Methodists have always preached in some parts of the 
county, and now their circuits and missions have reached 
all parts of it; and the Baptists are in it in large numbers. 

The people were for a long time very rude and unlet- 
tered. There was little chance for them to be otherwise 
where settlements were so scattered and people so poor; 
but with the system of common school education, in com- 
mon with all counties similarly situated, Paulding has rap- 
idly advanced. 


Floyd, which was also a large county, containing several 
which now adjoin it, was laid off as soon as the country 
was opened. It was a very fertile country, through which 
ran the Coosa, the Oostanaula and the Etowah, The In- 
dians had placed a high estimate upon it, and it is supposed 
by Pickett, the Alabama historian, that the "Chiaha" of 

458 The Story of Georgia [Chap. IX. 

De Soto's chronicler, where the Indians had their chief city, 
was in Floyd. 

The great fertility of this county led at an early day 
men of wealth to remove into it and settle plantations, and 
among them was Colonel Mitchell, from middle Georgia, 
through whose influence the county site was changed from 
Livingston, ten miles below, to what is now the city of 
Rome, lying at the junction of the Etowah and Oostanaula. 
Rome had great advantages in its location, and soon gave 
evidence of the fact that it was to be a city of no con- 
temptible size. 

Many of the rich bottoms on the Etowah and Oostanaula 
had been cultivated by the Indians for a long time, but 
only in corn. They were found admirably suited to cotton 
culture and productive wheat lands, and to be very val- 

There was much broken land in the county and not a 
little that was quite sterile, but there were some beautiful 
valleys in different parts of it. Vann's valley, named after 
an* Indian chief, where the Indians had lived, was a fine 
section of the county, adjoining the famous Cave Spring 

Cave Spring is the name of a beautiful hamlet, so called 
because of the existence of a bold spring which rushes 
from the heart of a mountain which overlooks the village. 
The fertility of the country roundabout and the beauty of 
the location drew to it an excellent class of people. The 
Baptists established a high school here, endowed by a Mr. 
Hearn, the Methodists the Wesleyan Institute, and the 
State has here its Asylum for the Deaf and Dumb. 

Rome, the chief city of Floyd, is surrounded by a very 
fertile country, and is at the head of navigation on the 
Coosa river. The falls of the Coosa in Alabama prevent- 
ing the passage of boats to the gulf gave Rome the control 
of the rich valley of the Coosa; and as soon as the Western 


AND THE Georgia People. 459 

and Atlantic railroad was completed a branch road con- 
nectinsf Rome with it was built. So Rome became the 
chief cotton market of upper Georgia. The Messrs. Noble, 
a family of enterprising Englishmen, settled in Rome and 
erected extensive machine shops. The Southern railway- 
connected Rome with the northwest and the southwest, and 
the railroad from Chattanooga to Carrollton opened an ex- 
cellent country north and south of the city. The growth of 
Rome has been very rapid, and it is now the chief city of 
upper Georgia. The Methodists have a very handsome 
church in Rome and a number of suburban churches; and 
the Baptists, Presbyterians and Episcopalians are all repre- 
sented by good churches. There is located in Rome the 
celebrated Shorter Female College (Baptist), which was 
built and endowed by Colonel Shorter, who was one of the 
first settlers in the county and a man of very great wealth. 
There is also a fine system of graded schools kept up by 
the city. 


In 1833, in the extreme northwest of the Cherokee coun- 
try, the county of Walker, named in honor of Freeman 
Walker, a distinguished lawyer and politician of Richmond 
county, was made. Its county site was called Lafayette. 

This county, like most of the up-country counties, was 
very large when it was laid out and is still a county of con- 
siderable size. It had been a favorite country for the 
Indians, and when they went west the rich lands on Chick- 
amauga creek, in McLemore's cove and on Broomtown 
creek drew from the low-country of Georgia and from the 
neighboring counties in Tennessee a body of fine settlers. 

Lookout mountain was in the west of the county, and 
was an excellent stock range, and in time was found to be 
well suited to the growth of various small fruits and veg- 

460 The Story of Georgia [Chap. ix. 

For years Walker was cut off from the outer world. 
Chattanooga and Dalton on the railroad sprang up and 
took the trade of the Walker people from Lafayette. The 
little county site languished for years; but the building of 
a railway from Chattanooga to Carrollton, which passes 
through Lafayette, has given new life to it, and the pros- 
pects of its rapid advancement are very bright. 

Some ten miles from Chattanooga is what was long 
known as Crawfish Springs and what is now known as 
Chickamauga. A subterranean river comes bursting out of 
the side of a hill in great volume, becoming a stream of 
1 80 feet in width a few yards from its exit from the cave. 
It is as clear as crystal and has in it a great quantity of fish 
which can be seen with the naked eye. This beautiful spot 
was owned by a Mr. Lee, who had a large estate around it. 
It was settled on as a place for a young city, and Chicka- 
mauga was projected and, in the language of the times, 
was vigorously " boomed." This boom was moderately 
successful, and an attempt was then made to build another 
city, Kensington, near McLemore's cove, which did not 
succeed. This cove, in the heart of the mountains known 
as McLemore, has long been famous for its fertility and 
beauty. The extent of its land is not great, but the quality 
is very good. The Hon. Wm. Dougherty had a summer 
home here, and Rev. Charles Wallace Howard, who was 
distinguished as a careful student of Georgia history and 
as a developer of her resources, spent his last days in this 
county on Lookout Mountain, where he had a ranch and a 

Modre and Marsh, the famous wholesale dry-goods men 
of Atlanta, began their mercantile life in Walker, and many 
of Georgia's distinguished men have resided in this county. 
For years before the war the educational advantages of 
the county were very few. There was a classical school in 
Lafayette and some of inferior grade in other parts of the 

1829-1837.] AND THE GEORGIA PeOPLE. 401 

county from the first settlement; but until the common 
school system was inaugurated there was little intelligent 
effort made to educate all the people. As in all the coun- 
try, there have been great improvements. 

From the first opening of the county the Methodist cir- 
cuit-rider and the Baptist elder have been at work in 
Walker, and the people are in the main a religious people. 


From the lower part of Walker and the upper part of 
Floyd a county was formed in 1838, known as Chattooga. 
The face of the country is broken by ridges and ranges of 
low mountains. There are in it some very beautiful valleys 
and some very excellent land. 

Summerville, the county site, is a neat and pleasant 
country town with good schools and churches. 

There is in the county one of the most successful cotton 
factories in the State, known as Trion Factory. It is 
located on the Chattooga river, and not only has good 
water-power but is also run by steam. 

There is a settlement in this county known as South 
Carolina, because of excellent well-to-do South Carolinians 
who settled in it. 

The county has had an exceptionally good reputation for 
its morality and its religion, and has paid unusual attention 
to its schools. 

It was for many years secluded, but by the buildincr of 
the railroad from Chattanooga to Carrollton its entire leno-th 
has been traversed by a railway. 


Lookout mountain, which passes through the upper 
part of Walker, cuts the extreme northwest corner of Geor- 
gia into a small county known for many years as the State 
of Dade. It was named in honor of Major Dade, who was 

462 The Story of Georgia [Chap, ix, 

killed, with his whole command, by the Seminoles in 

There were only 2,500 people in the county in 1850, of 
whom only 148 were slaves. 

In this county is the only deposit of coal in the State, 
and ex-Governor Brown opened the mine and operated it 
with convicts leased from the State, and built a large iron 

The people of the county are isolated from Georgia and 
have their associations with Chattanooga. They are a 
plain, good people, of simple tastes and habits, and are 
moral and religious. 

BARTOW (once CASS). 

Among the new counties laid out in 1832 was Cass^ 
named in honor of Lewis Cass. When General Cass took 
decided anti-southern ground in 1861 the indignant Geor- 
gians changed the name to Bartow, after the gallant gen- 
eral of that name who lost his life at the first Manassas. 

There is no part of Georgia in which a finer body of land 
is to be found than is included in this county. It had been 
a favorite section with the Indians, and the lands on the 
Etowah, Pine Log and sundry other creeks were famous 
for their fertility and had been cultivated by them. In ad- 
dition to these agricultural resources there are large quar- 
ries of limestone and large deposits of iron ore and man- 

When Cass was first opened it was somewhat remote 
from the older counties and difficult to reach; but it was 
rapidly peopled by the best class of settlers. Many oi 
them came from the older counties, and some very substan- 
tial people came to it from South Carolina. It was so rap- 
idly peopled that in ten years after it was settled it had in 
it nearly 13,000 people, of whom over 2,000 were slaves.. 

1829-1837.] AND THE GEORGIA PeOPLE. 463 

The land is largely in the blue-limestone region and pro- 
duces wheat, corn and cotton very abundantly. 

The county site was called Cassville, and few villages 
anywhere had at their first settlement a finer class of people 
than this little hamlet. When the Western and Atlantic 
railroad reached the county Cassville was off the line of 
railway, and during the war the village was burned and the 
county site removed to the city of Cartersville, on the 

In Cass county the first extensive foundry and rolling- 
mill in Georgia was established by Cooper, Wiley & Co., 
and the first railway iron made in Georgia was made at this 
mill. These iron works were destroyed during the war. 
Cass was overrun by the Federals, and no part of Georgia 
suffered more from their ravages. 

This county has been famous for its men of distinction. 
Warren Aiken, once a candidate for governor and long a 
leader of the Whig party; Colonel W. H. Stiles, the accom- 
plished minister to Austria; Charles Wallace Howard, one 
of the most accomplished of Georgia writers; Judge Turner 
Trippe, a prominent jurist; Colonel Lewis Tumlin, a mem- 
ber of Congress, all lived and died in this county. 

The county has always been noted for its attention to 
education and religion, and there is a large graded school 
in Cartersville and excellent schools in all the country 

Cartersville, the county site, is a city of considerable size 
and enterprise, noted for its handsome buildings, its fine 
climate, and its excellent citizenship. 

Kingston is a hamlet of some importance, at the junction 
of the Rome railroad. 

The county is well supplied with Methodist, Baptist and 
Presbyterian churches. 

There is no county in the State where there are hand- 
somer country homes than arc to be found in this county. 

464 The Story of Georgia [Chap. ix. 

The rich beds of manganese and hematite iron ore have 
added much to its wealth. 

As is always the case in a county of rich valley lands, 
there are also sterile hills inhabited by poor and ignorant 
people; but taking man for man, there are few sections of 
the country where there is a better grade of people than 
is to be found in this county. 


Macon county, named for Nathaniel Macon, was formed 
from the adjoining counties. It had in its borders some 
very excellent land on the Flint river and on the creeks, 
and some beautiful and extensive plantations of the best 
red pine land in the eastern part of the county. The best 
of this land was taken up at an early day in large planta- 
tions, on which there were placed many slaves. In 1850 
there were about 4,000 white inhabitants and 3,000 slaves. 
Oglethorpe is the county site, on the west side of the Flint. 
It is a village of respectable size, with a very fine court- 
house. Two miles west of it is the flourishing little city of 
Montezuma. It is located very near the river, and was for 
some years considered quite unhealthy; but the boring of 
an artesian well opened a vein of the purest water, which 
came gushing to the surface in inexhaustible quantity, and 
has removed the source of disease, and now no village in the 
State has a better record for health. The most remarkable 
industry of this county is its fruit-growing and its famous 
nursery business. Mr. Samuel H. Rumph conceived the 
idea of a great nursery on the red hills of Macon, and de- 
voted himself to the work of planting one and having large 
orchards; and finding a demand for his choice fruit in the 
northern States, he began the shipment of peaches and 
plums to New York and other northern cities. The busi- 
ness of fruit-raising and fruit shipment thus begun has be- 
come an immense one, and hundreds of car-loads of peaches 

1829-18S7.] AND THE GEORGIA PeOPLE. 465 

are shipped from this section. The famous Elberta peach 
originated in his nursery, and has spread all over the land. 
The cotton industry has given way to the raising of fruit 
and fruit trees. 


466 The Story of Georgia [Chap. X. 


1837 TO 1847. \ 


Governor Gilmer-Governor McDonald-Governor Crawford — The Begin- j 

ning of the Great Financial Crash-List of Banks-Low-price Cotton-Con- ^ 

dition of State Treasury-Contraction of the Circulation-Troubles m the f 

State Finances-Governor McDonald's Nerve-The Central Bank of Geor- .; 

gia-Cherokee Countv Populated-The Monroe Railroad Failure-Comple- , 

tion of the Central Railroad ; of the Georgia Railroad ; of the Western and 1 
Atlantic Railroad-The Effect of the Depression-Political Excitement— 

" Tippecanoe and Tyler too "—The Opening of Mercer and Emory-Settle- -, 

ment of the Western Counties— Features of Middle Georgia Life in 1840— , 

The Mountaineers-The Wire-grass Country-The Religious Condition of , 

Georgia-The Camp-meeting-Georgia Talent in the Pulpit and on the j 

Platform. , . , r^ „ ^ 

Authorities : Acts of Legislature, White's Statistics, White's Historical Collec- , 

tions, Gilmer's Georgians, Miller's Bench and Bar of Georgia, Sherwood s ■ 

Gazetteer, Campbell's History of the Baptists, Smith's History of Methodism, ^ 

History Bank of England-Benton's Thirty Years' View, newspaper files. | 

Governor Gilmer was elected as the candidate of the i 

States' rights or anti-Jackson party in 1837. This was the I 

second time he had been chosen as governor. Once he I 

was elected by the Clarke and now by the States' rights \ 

party. He entered his office after the great panic of 1837 ] 

had begun, and left it broken in health when it was at its. • 

height. i 

This panic was not, as many have supposed, the same as. \ 

that brought about from the removal of the deposits by i 

General Jackson.* That panic began in 1834 and ended in j 

* In making the above statement I am aware that I am not in accord with- ; 
the general opinion as to the cause of the panic. Colonel Benton takes the- .* 
ground I have taken above; and, indeed, until I had read his discussion I had . 
never questioned the fact that General Jackson's vigorous measure brought ^ 
about the calamity. I was, however, satisfied, after further research, that the . 
old senator was correct, and the History of the Bank of England, referred to- ; 
in the list of authorities, fnlly establishes his position. ■. 

1837-1847.] AND THE GEORGIA PeOPLE. 467 

1835. This was far more wide-spread than that, and had an 
entirely different origin. There had been a time of great 
inflation in England. Many private banks had been estab- 
lished. Money was easy and many new cotton-mills had 
been erected. Suddenly, and apparently without cause, a 
general distrust of the stability of these country banks was 
aroused, and there was a general call on them for specie;; 
they in turn demanded the payment of obligations due to 
them. They were forced to suspend, and the American 
banks in the larger cities suspended also; and in May of 
1837 every bank in Georgia but two suspended specie pay- 
ments. This was done avowedly as a matter of precaution 
and not of necessity. The banks in New York, Philadel- 
phia, Baltimore and Charleston had suspended, and the 
Georgia banks were forced to follow their example or be 
drained of specie. In 1834, according to Sherwood, there 
was in Georgia : 

Capital. Circulation. Specie. 

Planters Bank, Savannah $ 535>ooo $214,922 $147,13,2 

Mechanics, Augusta 200,000 456,621 183,497 

Marine and Fire Insurance, Savannah 170,000 165,485 118,521 

Insurance and Banking Co., Augusta. .. . 150,000 191,092 86,150 

Commercial, Macon 100,000 73,376 53 229 

Columbus 203,333 132,790 86,492 

Columbus Insurance 150,000 111,496 72,412 

Bank State of Georgia, Augusta 1,500,000 

Bank of Darien, Darien 469,017 329,942 73, 186 

Farmers Bank, Chattahoochee 1 19,825 72,063 8 972 

Bank of Augusta 600,000 437,764 353,405 

Hawkinsville 100,000 179,852 78,870 

Central Bank of Georgia, Milledgeville . . 2,485,733 237,725 135,186 

The mania for establishing banks was wide-spread, and 
before 1834 a large addition had been made to this list. 
There was the Monroe Railroad and Banking Company, 
Macon; the Georgia Railroad and Banking Company, Au- 
gusta; the Central Railroad and Banking Company, Savan- 
nah; the Planters and Mechanics, Columbus; the Bank of 
St. Marys; the Ocmulgee Bank, Macon; the Irwinton 

468 The Story of Georgia [Chap. x. 

Bridge Co., Irwinton; the Florence Bridge Co., Florence; 
the Western, Rome; the Brunswick, and sundry others. 

Money had been for some years an easy thing to obtain. 
Planters indorsed for each other and banks freely discounted 
the paper. Political favorites secured at the Central Bank 
of Georgia an almost unlimited credit. Cotton in 1836 was 
17 cents a pound, and cities were springing up like magic. 
The crash of 1834 had not affected Georgia, but now came 
the day of settlement. England had become fearfully in- 
volved, and the English manufacturers went down before 
the storm by hundreds. The Bank of England found itself 
seriously embarrassed and suspension of specie payments 
seemed to be absolutely certain. Cotton, which was 12 to 
15 cents in January, 1837, began to decline, and by 1839 
was down to 71^. In 1840 it was 6 to 7, in 1841 best 
grades 7^, in 1842 4 to 7, and the lower grades as low as 
3. The banks called in their loans and contracted their 
circulation. Specie could not be secured and change bills 
were issued by banks and private parties. Negroes de- 
clined to one half the price they had been held at in 1837, 
and lands were almost worthless. The railroads which had 
been projected had suspended banks at their backs as their 
only reliance. The Western and Atlantic railroad was built 
with bills of the Central Bank of Georgia, the Monroe rail- 
road with its own bank bills, and so the Georgia and the 
Central. The iron was imported from England and paid 
for in cotton purchased by Georgia bank notes. The an- 
tagonism to the banks by the Jackson party was fearful, 
and the banks fought against each other savagely; and to 
fill the cup of misery, the United States bank, which had been 
working under a Pennsylvania charter, became hopelessly! 
insolvent, and a new panic set in. 

The State treasury was empty. The State bonds were' 
protested, and its credit was worthless. The Central Bank, 
which the State had fathered, was hopelessly involved; the 


AND THE Georgia People. 469 

Bank of Darien, in which it had much invested, went into 
bankruptcy; the Monroe Railroad and Banking Company 
was insolvent; there was a general crash in every direction. 

In 1841 the exhibit of the banks showed : Planters, cap- 
ital ^535,000, circulation ^70,000; Planters and Mechanics, 
capital $270,000, circulation $178,000; Commercial, capital 
$347,000, circulation $7,000; Georgia Railroad, capital 
$600,000, circulation $428,000; Central Railroad, capital 
$406,840, circulation $370,000; Monroe, capital $400,000, 
circulation $90,000; Augusta Insurance, capital $500,000, 
circulation $41,000; Hawkinsville, capital $160,000; circu- 
lation $77,000; Columbus Insurance, capital $600,000, cir- 
culation $4,669; Darien, capital $419,000, circulation 
$194,000; Ocmulgee, capital $337,000, circulation $io,000; 
Western, capital $163,000, circulation $127,000; State of 
Georgia, capital $1,500,000, circulation $288,000; Bruns- 
wick, capital $200,000, circulation $54,000. This exhibit 
shows the extent of the contraction. There was for seven 
years no permanent improvement in the price of cotton. 
Thousands of solvent farmers had indorsed for their neigh- 
bors and were now forced to sell everything to pay their debts. 

During this period, after Governor Gilmer's term had 
expired, Charles J. McDonald was chosen as governor. He 
was a South Carolinian of Highland Scotch parentage. He 
was educated in Columbia, S. C; came to Macon and began 
the practice of law, and was at one time mayor of the city. 
He was living in Macon when he was elected governor. 
He was a man of fine person, sound sense and invincible 
courage. He found financial matters in a terrible condition, 
and had a Legislature afraid to confront the difBculties by 
taxing people who were aim ost driven to desperation by 
the State of affairs. The staunch governor did not approve 
of any dodging. It was absolutely necessary to increase 
the tax assessment or go to the wall. The Legislature 
refused to levy a higher tax. The governor promptly sus- 

470 The Story of Georgia [Chap. X. 

pended all orders on the treasurer and forbade him to pay 
any new appropriations until funds were furnished to pay 
the old ones. He finally carried his point, but matters were 
still in a chaotic state when Governor Crawford was elected 

in iS43- 

Governor Crawford found the panic had about exhausted 
its fury. It had continued for near six years, and had left 
behind it ruin and desolation; but the time for reaction had 
come. As will be seen, he restored the credit of the State. 
The depression may be said to have ended when he came 
into office. A number of banks had failed; many wealthy 
men were paupers, and not a few who were poor at the 
beginning of the troubles came out of the ruins enriched 
with spoils. It was the second great panic Georgia had 
passed through, and in its results the most injurious of any 
until the crash of 1865. 

George VV. Crawford, the Whig who succeeded Governor 
McDonald, was a native Georgian, the son of Peter Craw- 
ford, long a famous politician of Columbia county. He 
was born in Columbia county and was educated at Prince- 
ton College. He was a man of great practical sense and of 
fine business capacity. He entered on his office when the 
financial tide had reached its lowest ebb and was just about 
to turn. He redeemed the credit of the State; and by 
pledging his private fortune and using his personal influence 
he gained the consent of the banks to receive the State's 
obligations at their face value. Mr. Crawford was after- 
ward in General Taylor's cabinet. When his term had 
ended he returned to his home near Bel Air in Richmond 
county. He came into office when the railroads were un- 
finished, the banks suspended, business depressed, and 
lived to see a line of railway from Savannah to Chattanooora 
and a general revival of prosperity. 

In order to protect the note-holders of the Central Bank 
the State issued bonds payable in five years and ordered 


AND THE Georgia People. 471 

the stock it had in the various banks sold and the Central 
Bank bills taken in payment, and finally, ir 1842. the bank 
was put in process of liquidation, but remained nominally 
in existence till after 1850, when its charter was again ex- 
tended that it might wind up its affairs. 

The general disturbance in financial matters, the constant 
contraction of the circulating medium, the painful fall in 
the prices of real estate and negroes affected most seriously 
middle Georgia and the cities, but it had little effect upon 
upper Georgia and the grain-growing portions of the State. 
These independent farmers had but little concern about 
banks, for they had but little to do with them. They made 
all their supplies and lived contentedly at home. There 
was a constant influx of the best people into this newly 
settled part of Georgia. The gold product had reached its 
highest point and was dechning; for the old methods of 
placer-mining had not as yet been replaced by the great 
flumes and stamp-mills. The Cherokee country, from 
which the Indians had now been finally removed, was rap- 
idly peopled, and crowds of immigrants were on the roads 
from the eastern counties and from South and North Caro- 
lina to- open farms in Cobb, Cass, Cherokee, Floyd, and 
others of the new counties. There was no railway commu- 
nication, no telegraph, few mails; and while the older parts 
of the State and the black belt, as it was called, were in 
such financial distress, there was little of it known in these 
sections, and the tide of advancement rolled on. 

The railroad mania which seized the State between 1833 
and 1836 had resulted in beginning and abandoning sundry 
wild schemes. The ideas entertained of the expense and 
difficulty of railroad-making were very crude, and it is 
almost ludicrous to see with what confidence men embarked 
in the wildest schemes. There was a fearful collapse in 
many of them and in many other schemes. Insurance com- 
[)anies, mining companies and manufacturing companies 

472 The Story of Georgia [Chap. x. 

failed. But perhaps the wildest scheme of all these wild 
times was the Mora 7milticmilis speculation. The Mora 7mil- 
ticaulis was the mulberry which fed the silkworm, and for- 
tunes were to be made in rearing trees of this kind. Many 
went wildly into it. Orchards were planted, silkworms 
were bought, cocoons were imported and silk was spun. 
The State offered a bonus, and Georgia, which had failed a 
hundred years before in raising silk, was now to succeed. 
It was, however, but the delusion of an hour. Georgia 
repealed the law offering a prize for raw silk, mulberry 
orchards were cut down, and in a little time the wild Mora 
multicaulis mania was relegated, like that of the tulip mania 
in Holland, to almost oblivion. 

From the opening of the new purchase in 1825 to 1837 
there had been a marvelous growth in the two new cities of 
Macon and Columbus. There was a line of steamers from 
Macon to Darien, and they towed down barges laden with 
cotton. Magnificent mansions crowned the hilltops in 
Macon. The new Georgia female college was erected. 
Vineville had been settled and handsome homes built in it, 
and there were great enterprises projected by the young 
city. Columbus, too, had grown with great rapidity and 
there was, as always is in new towns, a boom in both cities, 
and then came the crash. The calamity did not come at 
once and disappear in a short time, but was a succession of 
disasters until the whole community was involved. In 
these new cities there was not an important cotton house 
that did not suspend, and man}^ of them were hopelessly 
bankrupt. The country, however, was fresh and productive 
and the large planters were in the habit of making all their 
supplies, and the smaller farmers were compelled to do so 
or suffer, and so, despite the scarcity of money, the country 
people who were not in debt lived in comfort. 

Political excitement in Georgia was very high during this 
period. Mr. Calhoun had many followers and Mr. Van 

Gov, McDonald. 

Gov. Wilson Lumpkln. 

First Presbyterian Church, Atlanta. 

1837-1847.] AND THE GEORGIA PeOPLE. 473 

Buren was bitterly hated. The States' rights men and the 
old party lines of Crawford and Clarke were still drawn. 
There were no Federalists and no protectionists in Georgia, 
but there were Troup men and Clarke men, bank men and 
anti-bank men, and Jackson men and Calhoun men. These 
parties were known as Whigs and Democrats after 1840. 

Then came the unique campaign of " Tippecanoe and 
Tyler too," of "hard cider and log cabins," and the elec- 
tion of General Harrison and Mr. Tyler. The Troup States' 
rights, anti-Jackson men were generally Whigs, the old 
Clarke men Jackson Democrats. 

There had been a steady advance in the interest of edu- 
cation. As incorporated academies received some aid from 
the State, all the schools of any size established in any of 
the counties were academies. 

Three new colleges, Mercer University at Penfield, es- 
tablished by the Baptists, first as a manual labor school; 
Emory College, at Oxford, which had sprung from the 
manual labor school at Covington, and the Georgia Female 
College at Macon, the first institution in the world to grant 
diplomas to women, had opened. Despite the pressure in 
the financial world and the bankruptcy of many who had 
promised large subscriptions, all these schools were opened 
during these depressing times and had from the first an 
encouraging patronage. The depression was so long-con- 
tinued that the country gradually adjusted itself to it, and 
in spite of its existence and its effect on the cities, there 
was steady advance in all directions in the newer parts of 
Georgia. This advance had been at the expense of the 
older counties. The eastern counties, now nearly one hun- 
dred years settled, sent off large colonies to the western 
counties, where land was fresher. 

The rich planters, who had estates in Twiggs, Laurens, 
Wilkinson and other middle Georgia counties, opened laro-e 
cotton plantations in Thomas, Decatur, Early, Lee and 

474 The Story of Georgia [Chap. x. 

Baker. The planters of Greene removed to Troup, Meri- 
wether and Harris. The towns of Greensboro, Warrenton, 
Washington and Madison had begun to wane, and the 
towns in the western part of the State, Lagrange, Newnan, 
and Greenville, to grow. As the plantations in the older 
counties were sold they were generally purchased by planters 
who already had large holdings near them, and, if not 
absorbed, were put in charge of overseers; and so the white 
proprietors diminished in number, and the country commu- 
nities, once thickly peopled, became merely large cotton 
plantations. Where there were at one time farms of often 
a dozen separate and independent landholders, there was 
now but one plantation. All those features which had be- 
longed to the life of forty years before had disappeared 
from the heart of middle Georgia. The white people who 
held their places in these old counties were of the finest 
type of sturdy, pushing, intelligent planters, and there was 
now a transfer of old middle Georgia to the cotton belt of 
the western counties, and the life we have portrayed as 
being found in Wilkes and Greene in 1820 was reproduced 
in the new counties in 1840. Lagrange, Greenville, New- 
nan, Hamilton and Thomaston had all the freshness and 
vigor of youth. The flush times had been times of great 
improvement in architecture everywhere, and the large man- 
sion with its beautiful Corinthian columns, its broad veran- 
das, its wide galleries, its large rooms and green Venetian 
blinds, was found alike in city and in town, and at some 
places in the country neighborhoods. There were among 
the wealthier classes of middle Georgia the same features 
of life found in the older counties in Virginia and which 
had come by direct descent from the English country gen- 

The railroads had but now been built, and there was still 
a necessity to use private conveyances very largely. The 
old gig and chair now gave way to the new covered 

1837-1847.] AND THE GEORGIA PeOPLE. 475 

buggy and the comfortable traveling carriage and ba- 
rouche or Jersey wagon. The equipages found in the 
county assemblages were sometimes very handsome and 
the dressing was extravagant. Wealth had wonderfully in- 
creased and luxury came in its wake. 

The low-country people lived among themselves, and 
social life on the coast had undergone little change for 
fifty years. The political influence of the coast people, 
which had once been controlling, had now to a large degree 
lost its power, although Senator Berrien, a Savannah man, 
held his own against all comers. 

The up-country presented at this time some very dif- 
ferent features of social life. In Cass, Floyd, Murray and 
Chattooga there was quite a large number of middle Geor- 
gia and South Carolina slaveholders, who were cotton- 
raisers, and there were among them the same features of 
society which were still found in the older counties; but in 
the mountains proper, in Lumpkin, Union, Gilmer and 
Rabun, there was an entirely different type of people. The 
fearful illiteracy of the Georgia people, as shown by the cen- 
sus of those days, was mainly found in the mountains, and in 
what was known as the pine-barren or wire-grass country. 

In the sketches of the various mountain counties I have 
endeavored to picture as accurately as I could the features 
of rural life in the Georgia highlands. Life in the moun- 
tains was very hard, and the drinking habits of the people 
were like those pictured by Ramsey as in Scotland eighty 
years ago. The farmers made only corn, and much of that 
they had distilled into whisky and drank the whisky. 

The amount of taxes paid by some of these mountain 
counties was not equal to the receipts from the poor school 
fund, small as it was at that time. There were, however, in 
every mountain county some good bodies of land which 
were settled by those who valued education and sought it 
for their children. 

476 The Story of Georgia [Chap. x. 

At this period, however, nearly sixty years ago, the 
country was almost entirely new and the settlements of the 
people few and far apart. They were a kindly, hospitable 
and honest people, and the traveler who came to the cabin 
in which they made their homes shared their simple fare of 
corn bread and bacon and rested securely on a bed of straw 
in a home on which there had never been a lock. Robbery 
and murder were almost unknown, although when the 
people met on muster and court days and drank freely of 
corn whisky, there was much rough-and-tumble fighting. 
The features of middle Georgia life of 1800 were found in 
the mountain country in 1840. 

The wire-grass country in some of the southwestern coun- 
ties had much less of uniformity and many more striking 
contrasts than were to be found in middle or upper Georgia. 
In this section some habitable land sold for less than ^50 
for 490 acres; other lands were sold at ^500 for 250 acres. 
The cotton-planter with one hundred negroes lived not far 
from the poor ranchman who had never owned a negro. 
Men who had graduated at the best colleges and whose 
libraries were filled with choice books, and men who could 
not write their names and who had not even a Bible in 
their cabins, were members of the same grand jury. 

The cultivated and wealthy classes were but few. In 
examining a large number of wills and appraisements in 
Thomas, I find in its early day, in the careful enumeration 
of everything owned by the settler, no mention of any 
books at all save in two or three instances, and then the 
books were very few. The mountain people lived in settle- 
ments close together, but the ranchmen and large planters 
lived at great distances apart. So good schools were 
almost impossible. 

There was still much game in the woods, and hunting 
was a source of profit as well as a pastime, and the children 
grew up keen woodsmen though poor scholars. In the 

1837-1847.] AND THE GEORGIA PEOPLE. 477 

pine woods the people were of great shrewdness, as many a 
trafficker found to his sorrow; and while the settler was in 
the main an honest fellow, he was a trifle careless as to 
whose calf he put the branding-iron on, and, like his Scotch 
ancestor, he was careful of the " siller " and a little too 
fond of a "wee drop." The prevalence of the prefix "Mac" 
or "Mc" in all this wire-grass country will show the High- 
land origin of most of these people. 

The religious condition of Georgia was never the same 
after the revival which began in 1827. The camp-meeting 
had become the great revival agency, and camp-meetings 
were held by the Methodists and Baptists and Presbyte- 
rians. In middle Georgia there were great lavishness and 
almost extravagance displayed at these meetings. For 
weeks before arrangements were made for tenting. The 
tent was a large sheathing house, with a dirt floor and a 
board-covered roof. The floor was covered with wheat 
straw, and the beds placed either on scaffolding or on the 
straw. The great log fire behind the tent served for a 
cooking place. Pigs and lambs were barbecued, and chick- 
ens by the score were prepared for the hosts of guests 
who received free entertainment. Every one was welcomed, 
and for all an abundant feast was provided. The tabernacle 
was generally a large shed covered with boards. There was 
preaching four times every day, and the preacher had full 
swing. These open-air meetings were the field services of 
this century. The negroes had their place reserved and 
came in great numbers to the meetings. These meetings 
were of all grades, from the humblest in the mountains to 
the elegant encampments in Burke or Warren or Greene. 
But the regular protracted meeting, or four days' meeting, 
as it was called, was becoming an institution among Meth- 
odists and Baptists. Each of these churches was energet- 
ically pressing its work as the tide rolled westward, and 
was winning large numbers of adherents, native Georgians. 

478 The Story of Georgia [Chap. X. 

Pierce, Mitchell, Dawson, Bacon, Few, Key, Longstreet 
and Warren, who had liberal educations, were in the pulpit, 
while George W. Crawford, Toombs, Stephens, Herschel V. 
Johnson and Colquitt, all native Georgians, were among the 
great stump-speakers of the day. 

The notable men of the first era, Baldwin, Few, Jackson, 
Glascock and Walton, had all passed away, and those of the 
second, David B. Mitchell, Clayton, L. Q. C. Lamar and 
Oliver H. Prince, had now given way to a group of brilliant 
young men who were on opposite sides of local issues and 
who were to win fame in the future. During this era ap- 
peared that phenomenal book "Georgia Scenes." No 
American before Longstreet attempted a realistic and accu- 
rate story of American life. The "Sam Slick" of Hali- 
burton was a caricature, and the stories of Cooper were 
romances; but the "Georgia Scenes" told of Georgia life 
as it really was. It has had many imitators but no succes- 
sors, and is worth more as a true history of a class of Geor- 
gia people than any record of the time. 


AND THE Georgia People. 47^ 


1847 TO i860. 

Governor Towns — Howell Cobb — Herschel V. Johnson — Joseph E, Brown — 
The Completion of the Main Railroad Lines — A Picture of the Georgia Peo- 
ple in the Middle of the Century — The Sea Island People — The Middle 
Georgia Planters — The Georgia Yeomanry — Introduction of Commercial 
Fertilizers — Manufacturing in the Rural Districts — Educational Facilities — 
The Middle Georgia Negroes — The Middle Georgia Towns and Villages — 
Religious Improvement — The Blue Limestone Country Developed — The 
Piedmont Country — Wonderful Development of Southwest Georgia — The 
Wire-grass Country agam — M. 8c B. and A. & G. R. R. — Features of Every- 
day Life — Days of Prosperity — Banks — The Panic of 1857 — Suspension of 
the Banks — Passage of the Stay Law — Kliteracy of the People — Measure of 
Thomas R. R. Cobb to Dispel It — The Daily Press — The Southern Cultiva- 
tor — The Agricultural Society — The First Agricultural Fair in Georgia — The 
End of the Current History — General Account of the Origin of the Georgians — 
Coming of the Catholic Irish and of the Jewish Traders — The New Counties 
Glanced at : Banks, Hart, White, Milton, Dawson, Towns, Pickens, Fannin^ 
Spalding, Clayton, Fulton, Whitfield, Polk, Gordon, Dougherty, Terrell,. 
Clay, Chattahoochee, Schley, Clinch, Coffee, Echols, Dodge, Johnson, Pierce,. 
Worth, Brooks, Glascock, Charlton, Haralson, McDuffie, Rockdale, Oconee. 

Authorities as before. Acts of the Legislature for period under survey, news- 
paper files, personal recollections and personal investigations into county- 

Governor Crawford, after four years of efficient service^ 
left the executive mansion to Governor Geo. W. Towns^ 
who had been chosen to succeed him. 

Governor Towns was born in Wilkes county and admitted 
to the bar in Alabama. He removed to Talbot county, and 
while living there began his political career. He was elected 
to Congress for three terms and then elected governor. He 
was a man of great suavity and exceedingly popular with 
his party. During his administration peace with Mexico 
came, and the complications which followed brought about 
strife between the fire-eaters, as the secessionists were called^ 

480 The Story of Georgia [Chap. xi. 

and the Union men. This strife was very bitter, and ulti- 
mated in a division of the Democrats into Southern rights 
and Union parties; and when Governor Towns's term was 
ended Howell Cobb was nominated by the Union party, and 
was elected by a large majority. Mr. Cobb was born in 
Jefferson county. He was a man of fine native gifts, and 
had had the best advantages for education that the State 
afforded. He was genial and popular, and had been elected 
to Congress when quite young and had served four terms, 
and had served as Speaker of the House of Representatives. 

On the election of Mr. Buchanan in 1856 he was given a 
seat in his cabinet, and was occupying that position when 
Georgia seceded. He then resigned from the cabinet and 
returned to Georgia, and was elected a member of the Con- 
vention which formed the constitution of the Confederate 
States. When the war began he entered the army as colonel, 
and was made a brigadier-general, and then placed in com- 
mand of a department. 

After the war was over he again entered upon the prac- 
tice of law with his kinsman Judge Jackson and removed 
to Macon. While on a visit to New York he died very sud- 

Herschel V. Johnson, who succeeded him as governor, 
was a native of Burke, was graduated at Athens, and was 
admitted to the bar when quite young. His advancement 
was very rapid; and while Governor Towns was in office he 
was appointed by him to a vacancy in the office of senator 
of the United States. After his term in the Senate expired 
he was elected a judge of the superior court. He was then 
nominated a candidate for governor; and after a very hotly 
contested election, by the narrow majority of 500 he was 
chosen governor over Chas. J. Jenkins. 

He served as governor two terms. He was an intense 
Southern rights man. But when the Democratic party re- 
pudiated Stephen A. Douglas and nominated Breckinridge, 











1847-1860.] 'A.ND THE Georgia People. 481 

he took the side of the Douglas party, and was placed as 
second man on the ticket. He doubted the wisdom of se- 
cession, and took no active part in affairs during the war. 
He returned to his estate in Jefferson county and died there 
while judge of the superior court. He was famous for his 
great power as a platform speaker, for his deep devotion to 
his friends and intense hatred of his foes. 

He was succeeded by Joseph E. Brown, to whom we 
have alluded in our sketch of Cherokee county. Mr. Brown 
was born in South Carolina, but his father, soon after his 
birth, removed to Georgia and settled near Gaddistown in 
Union county. He was a worthy man and, while in hum- 
ble circumstances, was an independent farmer. Joseph 
his son resolved to secure an education, and went over to 
Pickens county in South Carolina and spent a few years in 
a good country school. He then studied law; and attract- 
ing the attention of Dr. Lewis, a man of means and of 
broad views, he was provided by him with money to go to 
the law school of Yale College. He was successful from 
his beginning as a lawyer in Canton, was elected to thS 
senate of the State when a young man, was then a judge, 
and now he was chosen governor. 

He was governor for three terms, and was regarded as 
one of the most astute men in the land. He had many 
bitter enemies and many ardent friends. His life has been 
written by his friend Colonel Fielder, and the story of the 
events and times in which he bore so large a part has 
been well told by another warm friend. Colonel Isaac W. 

I have now given a short sketch of every governor of 
Georgia from 1732 to i860, and a rapid recital of the main 
events in Georgia history up to 1847, ^^^ it now remains 
for me to put in one chapter the story of those last years 
which marked the close of an epoch such as can never be 


482 The Story of Georgia [Chap. XL 

found again when the great revolution which made a new 
Georgia began. 

The period between 1847 and i860 was an era of rapid 
development. The Central railroad had reached Macoa 
and joined the Macon and Western, which had been com- 
pleted to Marthasville in DeKalb county, and the Georgia 
railroad from Augusta and the Western and Atlantic rail- 
road from Chattanooga had reached the same point. It 
was now possible to transport cotton unloaded from north. 
Alabama boats at Chattanooga to Savannah, and grain from 
East Tennessee to Charleston by continuous railways. The 
village of Marthasville had become the city of Atlanta — a 
name selected for it, or rather made for it, by Mr. Garnett 
and Mr. Peters, who were civil engineers on the Georgia 
railroad. A road was projected and completed from Rome 
to Kingston to join the Western and. Atlantic railroad;^ 
one from Athens to Union Point on the Georgia; one 
from Augusta to Millen to tap the Central; one from 
Atlanta to West Point to join the road from Montgomery; 
one from Macon to Columbus; one from the Central at 
Gordon to Milledgeville and Eatonton; one from Macon to 
Albany, and, later, roads from Macon to Brunswick and 
from Savannah to Thomasville. These railways brought 
all parts of the State into connection and led to the rapid 
development of every part of it. 

In endeavoring to get a view of the industrial condition 
of the State during this period it will perhaps be best to 
glance at its various sections as they present themselves. 

The rice plantations and sea islands were now owned by 
a few wealthy and aristocratic people who had a large 
number of slaves; and rice and cotton were the chief prod- 
ucts. There were raised besides, for home consumption 
cattle, hogs, potatoes, turnips, and all kinds of garden sup- 
plies. There had been little change in this section for sixt}r 
years, and the pictures we have of the people in the pre- 


AND THE Georgia People. 483 

vious pages were as true of them in i860 as in 1820. The 
larger rice plantations were on the Ogeechee, the Savannah, 
the Satilla, Hutchinson's Island and in Liberty county and 
Bryan's Neck. The negroes had increased till they were 
counted by the hundred. The richer planters had their 
winter houses among the live-oaks near the rice-fields, and 
spent their summers and the early fall in the Northern 
States or on the sea islands. They still pursued much the 
same methods of culture their fathers had used, save that 
the improved methods of hulling rice were now adopted, 
and the rice, instead of being prepared for market on the 
plantations, was shipped by the schooner-load to the rice- 
mills in Savannah. The social life among them was such 
as we have before portrayed. They were hospitable, refined 
and self-indulgent. Their wealth was largely in their ne- 
groes, and as their plantations furnished all they needed, 
and their factors were ready to attend to all their wishes, 
they went on their even way and cared little about accumu- 
lations other than that from the natural increase of their 
slaves. Life was about as fixed among them as among the 
English gentry whom they so much resembled. 

The middle part of Georgia was becoming more and 
more a great cotton plantation. The poorer landholders 
had removed from the older counties; and in these counties 
and as far west as the Ocmulgee one rode for miles through 
the lands of some great proprietor. A group of cheap cab- 
ins, an overseer's house, a large barn, a cotton-gin and 
screw, with now and then an elegant, roomy mansion in a 
grove of oaks and hickories, were presented in all sections 
of the old counties. Cotton was the main product, but 
among the best planters the raising of meat and breadstuffs 
was still carefully attended to. The social life of twenty years 
before was now almost unchanged, except that the young 
people were better educated. There was, however, a sad 
destruction of the beautiful woods, and the evidence of 

484 The Story of Georgia [Chap. XI. 

careless culture was seen in the many old fields on the 
plantations. Wilkes, Lincoln, Elbert, Greene and Columbia 
were now counted old and worn-out ; and many large plan- 
ters had moved their slaves to southwestern Georgia and 
even to Louisiana and Texas, and were opening plantations 
in new lands. They still held to their old homes, and these 
changes in the location of their laborers were made during 
the period of which we are writing. All the rude features 
of life in middle Georgia had now disappeared, and there 
was nowhere a more dignified society or a more religious, 
worthy people than there was now in this part of the State. 
But no one could fail to see that the white population was 
becoming more and more reduced, and that there had been 
a real devastation of the splendid country v^hich had been 
settled but little over fifty years. The fields no longer 
produced remunerative crops, and there seemed but little 
prospect of improving them, when Mr. David Dickson of 
Hancock county, by the wise use of commercial fertilizers, 
opened the way to a wonderful change in planting and of 
making the ridges and pine woods which had been consid- 
ered worthless good cotton land. This was -by the liberal 
use of commercial fertilizers. Mr. Dickson was the first 
planter in Georgia to use the then newly introduced Peru- 
vian guano and to adopt a new method of cultivating both 
corn and cotton.* There was considerable interest aroused 
in cotton-spinning, and mills were constructed in Butts, 
Greene, Newton, Putnam, Wilkes and Elbert. These fac- 
tories were run by water-power and paid good dividends. 
There was now much wheat raised, and in every county 
there was a merchant mill where good flour was made, and 
in the grist-mills there were often bolting-cloths for wheat 
flour. There was a constant advance in education, and in 
every neighborhood there was an academy. Mercer, 
Emory, Oglethorpe and the State University were the male 

* Hancock County, Chapter IV. 


AND THE Georgia People. 485 

colleges, and there were a number of female colleges, chief 
among them theWesleyan in Macon and Lagrange College. 

The negroes had greatly improved since they were last 
glanced at. On the large plantations there was much care- 
ful missionary work, and in the interior much attention had 
been paid to their moral as well as temporal welfare. It is 
doubtful whether there was any part of the world, except 
perhaps Scotland and New England, where ordinary la- 
borers on farms were the equals in all respects to the negro 
slaves in middle Georgia just before the war, where they 
were so well fed, so well housed and their health so care- 
fully looked after. They were not free from vices, but the 
interests of the owner led him to guard them carefully 
against all those vices which reduced their value commer- 
cially. Murder was rare, and drunkenness almost unknown. 
They married early, and while they sometimes married 
often, they had their wives and children. That they were 
honest as a class or put a high estimate on social purity or 
the bond of marriage no one could justly say. They 
could not read, as a rule, but they were oftentimes good 
farmers and skillful mechanics. While not strictly moral, 
they were very religious. 

The villages and county towns grew slowly during this 
period. The large planter went to the city for his heavy 
groceries, and he bought comparatively little at his county 
town. In Washington, Madison, Covington, Eatonton, 
Forsyth and other county sites there was considerable 
trade, and these county towns were becoming more gener- 
ally markets for cotton and depots for supplies. 

Through all the country there were the same churches 
which had generally been built of unplaned plank or logs 
thirty years before, and the old plan of monthly meetings 
was still followed; but now the churches in the towns were 
beginning to secure pastors who gave them weekly services, 

486 The Story of Georgia [Chap. xi. ^ 

and the plain, uncomely country churches were being now | 

replaced by neat and attractive buildings. ; 

The drinking habits of the people had undergone a great i 

change. The decanter was no longer on the sideboard and ■ 

the still had disappeared from most neighborhoods, though ' 
it was likely to appear again if there was a good peach 
crop; and while there was still the cross-roads groggery, it 
was under the ban. 

The up-country, as it was called from Atlanta northward, \ 

had very rapidly and steadily improved. There was but ' 

little cotton raised except in a very few counties. In Cass i 

(now Bartow), Floyd, Chattooga and Polk there was some ! 
cotton planted, but the main products were corn, wheat and 

bacon. ; 

Marietta had become quite an important town. Carters- ; 

ville was still but a hamlet, Kingston was a considerable ; 

village, and Dalton (or Cross Plains) was becoming a city ' 
of some importance. Ringgold was a rather large depot 

where wheat was purchased in large quantities, while Rome ' 

had become a bustling city. The country all along the '< 

line of the new railroad was rapidly filling up with a sturdy i 

and industrious people. There had been a gratifying im- | 

provement in the morals and culture of all this section, and j 

an excellent class of people had now fixed their homes in j 

it, and all the rude features of frontier life had disappeared. ! 
Along the Etowah in Cedar Valley and along the Chat- 
toosra there were now elesrant homes. 

There were good schools established in most of the j 

towns and villages, and there was much more attention i 
given to common schools. During this period a Baptist 

college was established at Cassville, and the Georgia Mil- , 

ita.ry Institute had been opened at Marietta and had a large j 

patronage. j 

That part of Georgia known as the Piedmont country, on j 

the foot-hills of the Blue Ridge, Franklin, Madison, Hall, etc., '. 

1847-1860.] AND THE GEORGIA PEOPLE. 487 

had lost many of its people, who had removed to newer coun- 
ties, and being remote from the railroads that section had 
retained many of its early features, but these old counties 
had not seriously deteriorated. 

The greatest changes in Georgia had, however, passed 
over the rotten-limestone land of southwestern Georgia, 
which at the beginning of this epoch was attracting a 
large immigration. As the railroads reached southwestern 
Georgia the planters living on the worn lands of middle 
Georgia, whose slaves had rapidly increased, were led to 
make large plantations in these counties, and in Macon, 
Lee, Dooly, Sumter, Dougherty and Baker they settled a 
large number of slaves. In the history of the counties 
which preceded this chapter I have already spoken of the 
opening of these plantations. The country was wonderfully 
fertile, and for a time was strangely free from the ravages 
of the caterpillar and the boll-worm. Crops were nearly 
always sure, prices during all this period were good, and the 
property of the southwest Georgia planter increased with 
marvelous rapidity. 

During this period there was constructed the Macon and 
Brunswick railway from Macon to Brunswick, and the At- 
lantic and Gulf from Savannah to Thomasville, connecting 
Macon with the coast and the Savannah with the Chatta- 
hoochee. Both lines went through an almost unbroken pine 
forest, and there was little development along them before 
the war began, but the beginning of the great development 
of this pine country was made at that time. 

In the history of the counties which comprised this sec- 
tion I have told of the wonderful changes which have passed 
over this entire wire-grass country, but at this time there 
was but little change to be seen from what had been thirty 
years before: the same scattered houses, the same simple 
habits, the same want of educational advantages, were found 
in i860 as were found in 1830. The story of the cities 

488 The Stoky of Georgia [Chap. xi. 

will give an insight into the condition of things as pre- 
sented by them during this era. After the terrible depres- 
sion from 1837 to 1843 the whole country was wonderfully 
prosperous for some time. The old banks were solid and 
reliable; and, save the bank of St. Marys, which was man- 
aged in Columbus and which was the last bank in Georgia 
to issue shinplasters, all the old banks were recognized as 
perfectly solvent. They had large circulation, large resources 
and the full confidence of the people. Their branches ex- 
tended all through the State, and they gave liberal accom- 
modations. When specie was demanded for their bills it 
was promptly furnished. A few wildcat banks were opened, 
but these were soon discontinued. In 1857, however, when 
the cotton had just begun to move, a sudden financial crash 
came upon the country, and there was a run upon the Geor- 
gia banks for which they were not prepared. They sus- 
pended, and their suspension was legalized by the Legisla- 
ture. The suspension was temporar}' and business went 
on, and up to the beginning of the war in April, 1861, 
there were no serious results from the panic. The Legisla- 
ture passed w'hat was known as the stay law, and no debts 
could be collected by legal process. 

The wretched illiteracy of many of the Georgia people 
and the inefficiency of the private school system, supple- 
mented by a pitiable sum doled out for pauper education to 
remedy it, had been a source of deep mortification to many 
Georgians. The political theories concerning paternalism 
which dominated led the people to oppose vigorously any- 
thing like a common school system, and for years the prog- 
ress of primary education where it was most needed was 
sadly slow. But Thomas R. R. Cobb, the gifted brother of 
Howell Cobb, formulated a plan for a school system which 
he hoped and expected, if adopted, would secure the edu- 
cation of the masses and at the same time avoid anything 
like socialism. His plan, however, was never given a fair 


/', , 

Gov. Chas. J. Jk.nki.ns 

Gov. A. 11. Stevens. 

Gov. 11. V. Johnson, 

Gov. How ELL CoHH 

Jos. E. Brown. 

Ben. H. Hill. 

Gov. A. 11. C()L(,)U1TT. 

Dr. G. J. Orr. 

1847-18()0.] AND THE GEORGIA PeOPLE. 489 

trial; and with the overthrow of the old State government 
and the formation of the new constitution after the war, 
the common school system displaced it. It might, however, 
safely be said that as far as much of Georgia was concerned, 
there had been for years few children who were forced to 
remain in ignorance because there was no chance for them 
to secure the elements of an education; but there was a fear- 
ful lack of interest on the part of many to take advantage 
of the means in reach. 

The daily press at the beginning of this period was the 
Savajinah Georgian, the Savannali Republican^ the Augusta 
Chronicle and the Augusta Co7istitutionalist. There were, 
however, before the close of this era, the Macon Telegraph, 
the Columbus Enquirer-Siin, the Atlanta l7itellige?icer, the 
Savannah Nezvs, and some other short-lived dailies. 

The weekly press had become greatly increased, and 
there were, in addition to the list we have given elsewhere, 
sundry other papers in each of the leading towns. There 
were at the beginning of the war a large number of week- 
lies which were largely supported by public advertising. 

The Southern Cultivator was now a vigorous monthly 
edited by Daniel Lee and devoted to the development of 
southern agriculture. It was during this period that the 
Georgia Agricultural Society was formed, and it had its 
first fair at Stone Mountain in 1848, and afterward there 
was a fair held for several years in Atlanta, and one of the 
Atlanta streets is named Fair street in honor of the old fair 

In i860 there was an exciting political campaign which 
resulted in the election of Abraham Lincoln and the tri- 
umph of the Republican party. Here my story ends. A 
new era begins, and a much larger volume than this would 
be necessary to tell the story of the four years from 1861 
to 1865. I have tried to give the genesis of the Georgia 
people, to trace them back to their origin, and I think I 

490 The Story of Georgia [Chap, xi. 

have shown how absurdly they write who speak so flip- 
pantly of the Georgia people as descending from those who 
were in debtor's prisons and English almshouses, and how 
much more absurdly they write who declare that the middle 
Georgians were a lawless and ignorant horde of adventurers 
whom they call crackers. The facts are that some early 
Georgians were from England, Scotland, Germany and 
the north of Ireland, and some of them, not over 1,500 in 
all, received a small amount of help from the trustees ; but 
they were of the best class of the plain people of the Eng- 
lish yeomanry, the German farmers and the Scotch crof- 
ters; there came some Highland lairds and their clansmen 
with the Scotch, and some men of classical culture with 
the Germans, and some men of education and character 
with the English, and some enterprising and intelligent 
people with the Scotch-Irish, but by far the larger number 
of Georgians came from Virginia and North Carolina. There 
were a few Quakers and thrifty Jews among the early 
comers, and the cannie trader from Scotland, the daring 
adventurer from the north of Ireland, the mystical German, 
were all here before the Revolution ; those broad-minded 
Englishmen, Noble Jones, John Wereat, James Habersham 
and Button Gwinnett, and Virginia gentlemen like Wm. 
Glascock and Geo. Walton, and Scotch chieftains like 
Lachlan Mcintosh, and Puritans like Dr. Hall and Abraham 
Baldwin, all united in making the Georgia people. The 
native Celt — the pure Irishman from Cork or Tipperary — 
warm in his temper and Catholic in his faith, to whom 
Georgia was to be so greatly indebted in after time, was 
excluded by religious intolerance from coming at the first 
settlement, and it was only after the Revolution, and some 
time after it, that an Irishman like Wilde was found among 
her public men. The Irishmen who came to Galphin were 
Scotch-Irishmen and Protestants all, and it was not before 
1840 that the south of Ireland people came in large num- 

1847-1860.] AND THE GEORGIA PEOPLE. 491 

bers into Georgia. It may be best to give a summary of 
the different classes who have made up the Georgia people. 
They were : The English yeomanry, a few of the English 
gentry, the Scotch gentry, the Scotch peasantry, the Ger- 
mans from the Tyrol who came from Hanover, the Germans 
from the Palatinate, the Scotch-Irish, the Virginians, Mary- 
landers and Carolinians, a few New Englanders, a few 
Portuguese Jews, a few French Huguenots. These were 
the immigrants, and in after time there were no classes 
added to these save the German Jews who came as traders 
into the country. Those who came after the Revolution 
were of the same class as those who came before it, and 
do not find a separate place. The social features of the 
people took shape before the Revolution and underwent 
but little change in after time. There were then as in 
after time the gentry, the yeomanry, the crackers and 
the slaves. 

I have up to this time attempted to give a description of 
each county and a short history of it as it came before me 
in order of time as organized, and as before the beginning 
of this period all the State had been divided into counties 
I have glanced at all parts of it. The counties as first 
made were very large but they were divided and subdivided, 
and for thirty years new counties were continually making 
their appearance. I do not think it necessary now to enter 
into the history of each, and I am compelled to omit a 
chapter giving an account of each of these newly formed 


492 The Story of Georgia [Chap. xii. 



Georgia was settled by Christian men and from Christian 
motives. These Christians were of different denominations, 
and all forms of religious belief were tolerated except that 
held by the Roman Catholics. The founders of the colony 
were in the main Church of England people, and an Eng- 
lish clergyman, as we have seen, came with the first immi- 
grants. One of the first buildings erected was a board 
tabernacle, where Mr. Herbert, the rector, read prayers and 
preached. His health failed and he returned to England, 
and was succeeded by Mr. Quincy, one of the New England 
family of that name. Mr. Quincy remained only a short 
time and left the colony, and Messrs. John and Charles 
Wesley succeeded him. John remained in Savannah and 
Charles went with Mr. Oglethorpe to Frederica. 

Of Mr. John Wesley's stay in Savannah we have told 
elsewhere, as that of Charles Wesley at Frederica. Both 
of these gifted brothers returned to England, and Mr. Geo. 
Whitefield came and took John Wesley's vacated place. 
He was compelled to leave his pastorate that he might 
raise funds for the support of his orphanage, and the 
church was somewhat irregularly supplied by the Church of 
England clergymen and by the officers of his orphanage. 
The church at Frederica ceased to have a pastor soon 
after the Spanish war, when the troops were disbanded 
and the town largely deserted by the people. 

There was no other Episcopal church built in Georgia 
until 1757, when a church was built by the traders in Au- 
gusta, and Mr. Jonathan Copp was sent over by the Society 

Rkligion.] and the Georgia People. 493 

for the Propagation of the Gospel to take charge of it and 
work as a missionary in the country about. 

There was from the beginning and during the progress 
of the Revolution an entire abandonment of all the Epis- 
copal churches except the one in Savannah, in which during 
the days of British occupancy there was occasional re- 
ligious service. The only Episcopal clergymen who re- 
mained in Georgia and seem to have sympathized with the 
Americans were John Holmes and Mr. Abraham Piercey. 
The church in Savannah was supplied by Mr. Ellington 
after the Revolution. After the trustees of the Richmond 
academy had succeeded in building a church in 1789 Dr. 
Abraham Boyd, an Episcopal clergyman, was put in charge 
of it. 

The church in Burke was abandoned to Methodists and 
Presbyterians and never reoccupied by Episcopalians. The 
church in Augusta was not regularly supplied until the 
Episcopal society in 18 16 secured a gift of the lot on 
which St. Paul's church now stands, and succeeded in erect- 
ing the handsome structure which is now upon it. When 
the new cities of Macon and Columbus were laid out the 
Episcopalians built a church in each city as soon as it was 
settled, and Bishop Elliot was selected as the first Protest- 
ant Episcopal bishop of the diocese of Georgia in con- 
nection with the rectorship of Christ Church in Savannah. 


The Salzburghers, of whom we have already spoken as 
settling the Ebenezer colony, were the first Lutherans. 
They built a church at Ebenezer under the care of Pastors 
Bolzius and Gronau. 

Another body of Germans made an abortive effort to 
establish a church at Frederica under the care of Mr. 
Driesler, and a church was built at Savannah probably be- 
fore 1759, which was closed during the Revolution and not 

494 The IStory of Georgia [Chap. Xll. 

opened again till 1823. Before the Revolution the good ; 
Pastors Bolzius and Gronau died and Pastor Triebner took 
their places. He was a Loyalist and so were many of his ! 
flock, but many of them and leading ones among them : 
were patriots. 

After the war was over the old inhabitants returned to 
their homes near Ebenezer and renovated their churches. j 
There was a body of German Lutherans, not Salzburghers, : 
who were led to come to Georgia by Captain DeBrahm, 
who settled near Ebenezer and finally became identified 1 
with the Salzburghers. Some Lutherans from South Car- ! 
olina, who were the descendants of the German emigrants 
to that colony, settled in upper Georgia after the opening ; 
of the new lands in 1825, and sundry congregations have 
been organized in the various counties of Georgia. ' 


The Presbyterians were the third body of Christians who' 
settled in Georgia and established churches. Pastor McLeod j 
came with the Scotch colony from the Highlands and formed 1 
the first Presbyterian church in Georgia. He had service 
in a log hut at Darien. He, however, did not remain long 
in his parish, but went to South Carolina when this Scotch i 
settlement was disintegrated, as it was soon after the Span- 1 
ish war. There was no organized Presbyterian church after 1 
this until the coming, in 175 1, of the Dorchester colony, 
who settled in St. John's parish and built a church at Mid- ; 
way ; for while these people were not nominally Presb^'te- i 
rians, they were practically such, and Congregationalists i 
and Presbyterians were regarded as the same body at that ■ 
time and were in close alliance. The next church estab- 
lished in Georgia was in Savannah, where a number of i 
Scotchmen had made their homes, and in 1759 a Presbyte- j 
rian church, which was essentially a Congregational church, j 
was organized and a learned Swiss clergyman, a Mr. Zubly, j 


AND THE Georgia People. 495 

was secured as minister to it. The larger part of this con- 
gregation, with the pastor, took the side of the colonies, and 
Mr. Zubly was honored with an election to the Continental 
Congress. His course there we have seen, and the results 
of it. The church seems to have had no pastor during the 
war and was disorganized, and the house was in a dilapidated 
condition when the war ended. It was repaired and the 
congregation gathered again, and a pastor was secured. In 
1760 there was quite a body of Scotch Presbyterians in St. 
George's parish, and they organized a church on Briar 
creek and one at Old Church and Walnut Branch, and had 
Rev. Josiah Lewis as pastor. 

The rural Presbyterians were very strong in what was 
afterwards Jefferson county, where a body of Scotch-Irish 
people had settled. They do not seem to have had any 
church before the Revolutionary war, but were organized 
into kirks which met in private houses. Their pastor sym- 
pathized with the Loyalists and fled the country, and it was 
some time after the Revolution before a successor was 
secured. After the Revolution there came into upper Geor- 
gia, into Franklin and Jackson counties, a number of North 
Carolina and South Carolina Presbyterians, who formed 
several churches in Franklin county, then including a num- 
ber of up-country counties. 

There were several Presbyterian churches organized in 
Wilkes and Greene just after the Revolution, and several 
Presbyterian preachers were in charge of classical schools 
in the last days of the eighteenth and the first of the 
nineteenth century in different parts of Georgia. Many 
substantial citizens of Augusta were Scotchmen and were 
Presbyterians by inclination if not actually communicants. 
There was, however, no Presbyterian church organized until 
1804, when one was regularly organized by Mr. McKnight, 
which held its services in the old St. Paul's church. In 
1809 the congregation began to build a new church where 

496 The Story of Georgia [Chap. XII. 

the First Presbyterian church now stands on Telfair street, 
and a pastor was regularly employed after 1807. 


The early story of the Baptists has been already told in 
the current history. 

Silas Mercer had come to Georgia just before the Revo- 
lution, and settled first in Burke and then removed to Wilkes. 
He, too, in common with Marshall and Bottsford, had been 
driven from Georgia during the war, but he returned and 
did most efficient work in Wilkes, and baptized his son 
Jesse, who became a great man among his people. While 
he was at work in Wilkes there were a number of Baptist 
preachers zealously preaching in Elbert, Lincoln and Ogle- 
thorpe, and they gathered a large harvest of souls. As the 
tide of settlement rolled westward the Baptist evangelist 
was always found with the foremost. As they were Con- 
gregationalists and demanded no educational qualification 
for license to preach, there was always a supply of earnest, 
enthusiastic preachers to push on the work. 

Young James Screven, the son of General Screven, whose 
father was killed at Midway, while at school in Charleston 
had been converted and had joined the Baptist Church. 
When he grew to manhood and returned to Sunbury, where 
he fixed his home and near where he had an estate, he be- 
gan to preach gratuitously to the people about him, and thus 
founded the Baptist Church in the low-country. During 
the year 1827 a very great religious awakening took place 
in all upper and middle Georgia, and the Baptists had a 
large part in the work and reaped a large return from their 

The Baptists by that time were among the wealthiest and 
most aggressive denominations in the State, and continued 
to press forward. Chas. D. Mallary, Sherwood, Dawson, 
King, Davis and Mercer were among the leading Baptist 


AND THE Georgia People. 497 

preachers. The Christian Index, of which we have spoken, 
is the organ of the Baptists, and has had a continued ex- 
istence for eighty years. 


In the current history an account of the coming of the 
first Methodists into Georgia has been given. 

In 1788 the first conference was held in the fork of the 
Broad river, and that year the first church among the Meth- 
odists in Georgia was built. The second conference was 
held in that church in 1789. Hope Hull, a gifted young 
Marylander, came to Georgia at that time and had much to 
do with building up the church. There was at first rapid 
progress, and then after a few years a steady decline; and 
ten years after the first preacher came to the State there were 
fewer members in the churches than there were two years 
after they began. 

In 1798 Stith Mead, a young Virginian belonging to one 
of the leading families in Georgia, came to Augusta and 
there established and organized the first Methodist Church 
in any city west of the Savannah river. He joined the 
South Carolina Conference and was made a presiding elder. 
He was a man of fine parts, and there was for some years 
a constant advance. The camp-meeting was introduced, 
and there were frequent revivals and rapid increase in mem- 
bers for ten years. The conference, which had been de- 
pendent on Virginia for her preachers, now, in the first year 
of the century, began to furnish them from her own body, 
and men like Lovick and Reddick Pierce and James Russell 
began to preach. There was a great revival in 1809 along 
the Broad and Little rivers under the preaching of Russell, 
in which many of the famous Broad river people were con- 
verted and joined the Methodist Church. Methodism had 


498 The Story of Georgia [Chap. xil» 

now extended her circuits until they reached every part of 
the State of Georgia. 

. In connection with the South Carolina Conference the: 
Georgia Methodists established the Southern Christian Advo- 
cate, and afterward, surrendering their joint interest in the 
paper to South Carolina, they established the Wesleyan 
Christian Advocate, which is now published in Atlanta and 
has ten thousand subscribers. 

From the beginning the Methodists paid much attentioa 
to the negroes, and have many adherents among them. The 
colored Methodists among the various bodies of negro 
Methodists are in close connection in the M. E. Church,. 
South. The negro Methodists have handsome churches. 


The Roman Catholics were excluded by law from Geor- 
gia at its first settlement and were not allowed a foothold 
until after the Revolution. The first church was established 
in 1796, in Wilkes county, at what is now Sharon or Locust 
Grove. The first church building was erected in Savannah, 
in 1802. 

A church was built in Augusta in 181 1 on a beautiful lot 
given by the city. It is certain that, while a building was 
not erected until that time, there were services held for 
years before the house was built, and the same thing is 
doubtless true of Savannah. 

In Macon and Columbus there were churches at an early 
day, and the Catholic church was one of the first erected 
in Atlanta. The Catholics have churches in nearly all the 
cities and larger towns of the State and a few in the rural 
districts. The first built in the country in Georgia was at 
Locust Grove, in Taliaferro county, and there is a mission 
church in Appling county. The Jesuits have an elegant 
establishment near Macon, a novitiate in which those of 
this order are prepared for the priesthood. There are ele- 


gant orphanages for boys in Washington and one for girls 
in Savannah. They have schools in all the cities. There 
has been a Catholic bishop in Georgia for over forty years, 
and the church is compactly and completely organized. 


or Christian Church, was brought into Georgia soon after it 
was established in the West. It has some strong congrega- 
tions in the State. In Augusta and Atlanta it is a body of 
large influence and has an influential membership, and in 
Macon, Sandersville, Valdosta and in other places it has a 

There are a number of other Christian bodies that are not 
found except in certain localities. There are a few Univer- 
salists, a congregation or two of Unitarians, and a small 
number of Congregationalists. 


A small body of Portuguese Jews, about forty in number, 
came to the colony in 1733. The larger part of them re- 
moved to South Carolina, only a few families remaining 
in Savannah. These held firmly to their ancient faith and 
worshiped for many years in private houses. It was nearly 
a hundred years after the first Jews came before a syna- 
gogue was built. They then built a small synagogue and 
had regular services. They were Americans and people of 
position and wealth, and rigidly orthodox. The Germans, 
who were largely tinctured with the liberalism of the Re- 
formed Jews, were not attracted to the little synagogue; 
and being people of means, they built a very handsome 
synagogue on a fashionable street. The Jews have other 
fine synagogues in other cities in the State, and regular 
services are held by the rabbis in each of them every Sat- 

500 The Story of Georgia [Chap. xir. 


In 1827 there sprang up almost simultaneously in differ- 
ent Atlantic States what were known as temperance socie- 
ties, which aimed to diminish, if not entirely banish, the 
drinking habits of society. Adiel Sherwood established a 
temperance society in Putnam county in 1827, and in a 
short time the sentiment of temperance in the use of liquors 
became quite popular with serious people. 

The movement passed through various forms and resulted 
in the formation of divers temperance orders. These first 
temperance societies had a large following among promi- 
nent men. Judge Lumpkin, Judge Charlton, Judge Long- 
street, Judge Hillyer and many other prominent lawyers 
were leaders in the reform, but there was no attempt to 
suppress the sale by law. The antagonism to the sale of 
strong drink, however, reached so far that Josiah Flournoy, 
in 1839, canvassed the State to secure signatures to a peti- 
tion forbidding the licensing of dram-shops. He was very 
sanguine of success, and when the Legislature, influenced 
by Judge Cone, summarily disposed of his favorite scheme, 
it was too much for him, and his health gave way under the 
shock. There were, however, granted by the Legislature 
charters for the towns of Oxford, Penfield and Culloden, in 
each of which the sale of spirituous liquor was forbidden, 
but no further effort to suppress the sale of liquor by law 
was made by the temperance men for some years. A 
license law was enacted and an effort was made to regulate 
the traffic. When the prohibition wave swept the North, 
and, following the example of Maine, State after State pro- 
hibited the sale of strong drink, some enthusiastic Geor- 
gians formed a prohibition party and nominated B. H. 
Overby, a prominent lawyer in Atlanta, as prohibition can- 
didate for governor. He received only 6,200 votes, and 
the attempt to secure legal prohibition was given over for 


some years. It is hardly within the scope of this chapter 
to survey the field since the war, but the progress of the 
temperance cause has been constantly onward. The dis- 
tillery has, except in some few parts of the mountain coun- 
try, been put under the religious ban. County after county 
has secured special acts prohibiting the sale of strong drink 
in their boundaries, and by a general local option act in the 
whole State, with the exception of a few counties in which 
there are large cities or towns and a large negro vote, the 
whisky traffic has been positively prohibited and largely 
suppressed. Public sentiment is antagonistic to it, even in 
the cities, and while the retail trade is licensed, it is, in 
most of them, under careful regulation. 

502 The Story of GsoRaiA [Chap. Xlir. 



First School at Ebenezer — Mr. DeLamotte in Savannah — Schools in Dor- 
chester Settlements — School in Augusta — Constitutional Provision for Public 
Education — Academies Established and Endorsed — Old Field Schools — Ap- 
propriation for Poor Scholars — Appropriation for Academies — General 
Cobb's Measures for Public Schools — Private Academies and High Schools 
in Georgia — Mr. Whitefield's Effort to Establish a College — The Proposition 
for a State University — The Charter Granted and the University Established 
at Athens — First Graduates — A Glance at the History of the Institution — 
First Methodist School — School at Salem — Manual Labor School — Emory 
College Established — Glance at its History — First Baptist School at Enon — 
Manual Labor School at Penfield — Mercer University Established — Its His- 
tory— Oglethorpe University — Sidney Lanier — First Female College in the 
World Established in Macon, Ga, — History of the Georgia afterward the 
Wesleyan Female College — Lagrange Female College — Georgia Female 
College — Monroe Female College — Andrew Female College — Young Harris 
College — North Georgia Agricultural and Military College-:-South Georgia 
College at McRae — Industrial College at Milledgeville — Technological 
College in Atlanta — Colleges for Negroes and Colored People — Cox Female 
College — Gainesville Female College — Shorter Female College — Dalton 
Female College — Lucy Cobb Institute — Gordon Institute — R. E. Lee Insti- 
tute, Thomaston. 

As this history has progressed the story of the efforts of 
the State to educate its people has been told. It is only 
necessary here to make a summary. There were before 
the Revolution public schools in Savannah and Ebenezer, 
and perhaps a few schools in the newly opened country. A 
provision was made in the first constitution for a general 
common school education. After this for years little atten- 
tion was paid to general education; then the Cobb school 
law was made, and after the war a common school system 
was put into operation. Sundry private schools and acade- 
mies, male and female, were established, to which attention 
has been called. 


AND THE Georgia People. 503 

The first effort to found a college was made by Mr. White- 
field, who proposed to change his Orphanage into a col- 
lege. Before his plans were perfected, but after he had 
secured a grant of land, begun work and the building was 
erected, Mr. Whitefield died. The property descended by 
bequest to Lady Huntington, but the buildings were burned, 
and soon after the war came on and the college, never fairly 
established, disappeared entirely. 


After the Revolution some gentlemen of the State pro- 
cured a charter and an appropriation for the State University. 
The trustees selected were John Houston, James Haber- 
sham, Benjamm Taliaferro, Wm. Few, Joseph Clay, Abra- 
ham Baldwin, Wm. Houston, Nathan Brownson, John 
Habersham, Abel Holmes, Jenkins Davies, Hugh Lawson 
and Wm. Glascock. It was stipulated in the charter that 
all the officers selected for the institution should be of the 
Christian religion, and it was ordered that the board of 
trustees should be a seiiatiis acadernicus, and should cor- 
relate all the academies with the University. While the 
Legislature granted the charter and 40,000 acres of land 
for endowment, it did not say where the University should 
be located, and made no provision for the erection of build- 

The times were not favorable to the scheme. The country 
had not recovered from the desolations of the war, there 
was no money, and there were no pupils prepared for a col- 
lege. The academies at Augusta, Sunbury and Mt. Carmel, 
in Wilkes, met all the needs of the times, and so the statute 
of 1785 lay dormant for nearly fifteen years. It was then 
decided to establish the University at Greensboro, but the 
people were not satisfied with the place, and in 1800 Mr. 
John Milledge proposed to give the State seven hundred 
acres of land in what was then Jackson, and is now Clarke 

504 The Story of Georgia [Chap. xiil. 

county. The donation was accepted and he bought the 
land and gave it to the trustees, and the first college build- 
ing was erected. A president was chosen, Josiah Miegs, and 
the first commencement was held on the 31st day of May, 
1S04. The graduates were nine: Henry Jackson, Gibson 
Clark, Jephtha Harris, Augustin Clayton, Thomas Irwin, 
Jared Irwin, Jr., Robert Rutherford and Wm. Williamson. 
The college had no endowment except in wild lands, and 
they brought a very small return. During the war of 1812 
the college became almost moribund. In 18 16 the lands 
were sold and the State took the notes from the purchasers 
and gave the college in bonds for them. The col- 
lege was slow in rallying, but was opened again under 
brighter auspices under Dr. Waddell. 

He was succeeded by Dr. Alonzo Church, a Vermonter, 
who made a very efficient president for over thirty years, 
and after his resignation Dr. A. A. Lipscomb was made 
chancellor. He was a Marylander of national reputation as 
a man of fine culture, and he made a most efficient and pop- 
ular officer. Dr. H. H. Tucker was then chancellor for 
four years. After his resignation Dr. P. H. Mell, who had 
been connected with the University for many years, was 
chosen. He was very popular and useful, and was suc- 
ceeded by Dr. VV. E. Boggs; and he by Hon, Walter B. 
Hill, the present chancellor. 

The United States granted quite a generous quantity of 
the public domain to the various States for the establish- 
ment of colleges in which agriculture and the mechanical 
arts should be taught, and while Governor Smith was gov- 
ernor this donation was turned by him into the treasury of 
the University, which added an agricultural and techno- 
logical department to its existing course and secured the 
benefit of the large endowment thus provided. The citi- 
zens of Athens gave to the University a handsome building 
for scientific work. There have been sundry bequests and 

Education.] AND THE GEORGIA PEOPLE. 605 

large gifts to the University, notably those of Dr. Terrell, 
Governor Gilmer and Governor Brown. The University 
has attached to it a law school, located in Athens, and a 
medical school at Augusta. Some years since it adopted 
the plan of giving free tuition to all male citizens of Geor- 
gia who attended its literary, agricultural or mechanical 
departments, and it has so adapted its curriculum to the 
demands of all classes that it has put college advantages 
within the reach of all. 


The Methodist Conference of 1789 projected a high 
school, to be located at some point in middle Georgia, and 
went so far as to raise a subscription for its establishment; 
and Bishop Asbury rode up the forks of the Ogeechee to 
'select a place where the school should be located, but it 
was no time for establishing schools and the plan was not 
carried out. 

If we do not recognize Hope Hull's academy as the first 
Methodist school, the first in Georgia was at Salem, in what 
is now Oconee county, u'hich was adopted as a Methodist 
school by the South Carolina Conference in 1820. 

Dr. Olin, who had married a Georgia lady and whose 
property interests were in Georgia, had been chosen pres- 
ident of Randolph-Macon College, Virginia, and was anx- 
ious to secure the support of all the Southern conferences, 
and asked the Methodists of Georgia to endow a chair in 
that college with g 10,000 and to patronize the institution, 
giving them some special privileges in return. The con- 
ference consented to accept this offer and decided, in ad- 
dition, to establish a high school in Georgia on the manual 
labor plan, so popular at that time. This manual labor 
school, as has been stated in the history of Newton county, 
was located near Covington. It was found to be imprac- 
ticable to conduct a farm and a high school at the same 

506 The Story of Georgia [Chap. xril. 

time, and the conference, under the influence of Dr. I. A. 
Few, in 1836, decided to establish a college. A charter 
was secured and the spot was selected about two miles 
from the manual labor school. One thousand four hundred 
acres of land were bought, a village laid out, and in 1837 
the corner-stone of Emory College was laid. Dr. Few 
was selected as president, the college was opened in 1839, 
and in 1841 the first class was graduated. Judge Long- 
street succeeded Dr. Few as president. Bishop Pierce, then 
Dr. Pierce, followed him, and when he was elected bishop, 
Dr. Means, professor of Natural Science, was chosen as his 
successor. He resigned after a year and was succeeded by 
Dr. James R. Thomas, who was president when the war 
began. The college was necessarily suspended during the 
war and its buildings used as a Confederate hospital, and 
when the war was over they were fearfully dilapidated. 
The endowment was gone and the people impoverished, and 
there seemed little hope for its recovery from its prostrate 
condition; but Bishop Pierce made an earnest and success- 
ful effort to keep the college alive, and a faithful, self-sac- 
rificing faculty stood bravely by him. 

The Legislature now made a proposition to the three 
colleges which were opened. It would give them $100 in 
State bonds to pay the tuition fees of such wounded sol- 
diers as desired an education, for each year they attended. 
The bonds were not salable, but Emory College consented 
to receive them, and filled up her vacant halls. 

With the aid of Bishop Pierce's Endowment Society and 
with the devotion of the faculty, the college began a new 
career. New buildings were erected and new students be- 
gan to pour in. Dr. Thomas had been elected to a college 
in California and Dr. Luther M. Smith made president. 
He was very successful in conducting the college, and when 
it had become firmly established he resigned, and Dr. O. L. 


Smith was made president. He retired from the presidency 
and took a professorship, and Dr. A. G. Haygood succeeded 
him. While he was in ofifice Mr. Geo. I Seney, a New 
York banker, was attracted by some broad views of the 
new president, and decided to give the college $150,000 
for building and endowment. This gift of Mr. Seney and 
the buildings erected by Bishop Pierce gave the college a full 
equipment for its school work. Dr. Haygood succeeded in 
purchasing some large houses in which to provide helping 
halls where young men could board themselves at a low 
price; and as tuition prices were low and often remitted, 
many poor men had an opportunity to secure a first-class 
education. Bishop Haygood resigned, however, to take 
the important office of agent of the Slater fund, and Dr. 
Hopkins was chosen president; and when he was elected to 
the presidency of the Technological School, Dr. Candler 
was elected to the presidency of Emory. During his in- 
cumbency the college was much more largely endowed 
and more thoroughly equipped, a handsome library build- 
ing was erected, and its patronage was largely increased. 
After Dr. Candler was elected bishop Dr. Dowman was 
elected president, and is still in charge. 


The Baptists early in the century made an effort to estab- 
lish a college on a healthy plateau near Augusta, to be 
called Mt. Enon College. Dr. Holcomb was the agent to 
collect funds and to secure the charter, but the Legislature 
refused to grant a charter for a college, and only a high 
school was established. The question of a college for Bap- 
tists then slumbered until 1829, when Mr. Josiah Penfield, 
of Savannah, bequeathed $2,500 to aid in educating poor 
young men for the ministry. With this sum increased by 
private gifts to twice the amount a manual labor school 
was established at a place in Greene county, which was 

508 The Story of Georgia [Chap, xiil. i 

called, in honor of the generous donor of the first large I 
gift, Penfield. Dr. B. M. Sanders was made president. A ' 
manual labor school did not meet the demands of the Bap- i 
tists, and a university was projected and was established in j 
1838. Dr. Jesse Mercer, who had been the liberal friend 1 
of the manual labor school, left the whole of a very consid- ; 
erable fortune to endow the university, and it had from the ; 
start a considerable fund for its support. In 1 851 the en- 
dowment amounted to nearly ^151,000. 

It was a successful institution from the start. The first ; 
president was Rev. Otis Smith, who did not long remain at i 
the head of the college. He was succeeded by Dr. J. L. [ 
Dagg, who was for a long time the able president. Dr. , 
N. M. Crawford (the son of W. H. Crawford), Dr. Henry ! 
Holcombe Tucker, Dr. A. J. Battle, Dr. Nunnally and Dr. ! 
Pollock have all presided in turn over the college. The 
university, being in a secluded village, kept up its exercises ■ 
during the war, and was the only college in Georgia which | 
did so. After the war it suffered, as did all the other pub- ! 
lie institutions, and some of its friends urged a change of ' 
location. Macon was anxious to secure a male institution I 
of high grade, and offered to furnish handsome grounds 
and a fine building to the university if it would change its 
location from Penfield to Macon. The trustees would not i 
accept a donation, but agreed to give free tuition to twelve 1 
Macon youths i?i perpetuo in consideration of the buildings 
furnished, and the college was moved. The buildings are 
very handsome, and the patronage was considerable from 
its reopening. Colonel Gray, a wealthy man in Jones, left ' 
his whole estate to provide for the education of Jones county i 
young men. j 

Mr. Rockefeller, the wealthy capitalist, gave the college ' 
a very handsome donation for a new chapel, and the Bap- 
tists of Georgia have made to the university many gifts. ' 
It has an excellent law school attached to it and a prosper- j 


ous theological school, and was never more prosperous than 
it is at the present writing. 

The Oglethorpe University, which was established by the 
Presbyterians on a beautiful hill near Milledgeville at the 
same time that Mercer and Emory began their careers, had 
a comparatively brief but highly honorable history. The 
college up to the war was under the care of Dr. S. K. 
Talmage. It is famous as the Alma Mater of Sidney Lanier. 
It never recovered from the effects of the war and was 
never reestablished after its close. 


The subject of female education engaged the attention of 
the Georgia people to a very limited extent in its early 
history, and when the Legislature gave a small bonus to 
academies for a number of years it refused to charter any 
exclusively female academies; but in 1827 it broke its 
record and chartered the first female academy under State 
patronage at Harmony Grove in Jackson county. There 
was not a female college which conferred degrees then in 
the world. A young lawyer named Chandler startled the 
public by declaring in a public speech at Athens that in 
his opinion vvomcn should have exactly the same advan- 
tages granted to men and should have the same degrees 
conferred on them. This view was heartily endorsed by 
many of the best people, and when the young city of Macon 
resolved to build a female academy of high grade, Rev. 
Elijah Sinclair suggested it should build a female college. 
The idea took readily, and the Ocmulgee Bank said if the 
Legislature would grant the bank a charter and charter the 
college it would subscribe $25,000. The conditions were 
met and the subscription was made and promptly paid. The 
peopl'" made large subscriptions also, and the Georgia Fe- 
male College was enterprized. There was no intention to 
build a Methodist college but it was to be for all denomina- 

510 The Story of Georgia [Chap. XIII. 

tions. The buildings were planned on a large scale, and as 
soon as the main building was habitable Bishop Pierce, then 
plain Mr. Pierce, a young man, was made president and an 
able faculty selected to assist him. The college had large 
patronage from the beginning, but the great crash of 1837 
came on just as the college began, and before the build- 
ings were completed many of the largest subscribers 
were bankrupt. The builder closed his lien, the college 
was sold and bought by Bishop Pierce, and it seemed for 
some time that the first female college in the world was 
doomed to failure. Rev. Samuel Anthony was appointed 
agent by the conference, and through his influence Mr. 
Everett, a wealthy Houston planter, bought some scholar- 
ships under certain conditions, and one was that the college 
was to change its name and become a Methodist college. 
This was agreed to and it became the Wesleyan Female 
College. The trustees had provided a very imposing build- 
ing and one very finely located, but there was no endow- 
ment and the college was dependent upon patronage for 
its support. Bishop Pierce resigned and was made agent, 
and Dr. W. H. Ellison leased the college and conducted 
it successfully. Dr. Edward H. Myers was then made 
president, and Dr. O. L. Smith, Dr. J. M. Bonnell and for 
over twenty-five years Dr. Bass were presidents. While 
Dr. Bass was president Mr. Seney decided to make a large 
donation to the female college equal to that he had made 
to Emory. He required, as a condition of his gift, that 
the house should be modernized and provided with all 
proper conveniences, and the old building was transformed 
and made more commodious and elegant. 

The Lagrange Female College, also under patronage of 
the Methodists, is one of the old female colleges in the 
State. Beginning as a female school it developed into the 
Lagrange Female College conducted by the Montgomery 
brothers. It was afterwards sold to the Georgia Confer- 

Education.] AND THE GEORGIA PEOPLE. 511 

ence in 1855 and made a denominational college. It was 
unfortunately burned, but it sprang from its ashes and has 
never suspended, and is now better equipped and more 
largely patronized than it has ever been. It is now under 
charge of a veteran educator, President Rufus W. Smith, 
and is in vigorous life. 

Not long after the Montgomerys established the La- 
grange Female College Mr. Milton Bacon established the 
Southern Female College. It was under Baptist patronage 
and was largely attended. It too was burned, but it was 
rebuilt by the celebrated I. F. Cox, who for years con- 
ducted it in connection with his gifted family with distin- 
guished success. After his death it was decided by the 
family, who owned the property and the charter, to remove 
to College Park and open the college there. 

The people of Lagrange were so much opposed to the 
removal and the loss of the historic name that satisfactory 
arrangements were made by which the Southern Female 
College was still in existence. It is now a prosperous in- 
stitution under the care of Dr. G. A. Nunnally. 

The Southern Female College, at College Park, of which 
President C. C. Cox is the head, has a very elegant equip- 
ment and a very fine patronage. 

The Agnes Scott Female College, in Decatur, which 
was the munificent gift of Colonel Scott, a celebrated man- 
ufacturer, is a fine institution. 

The Andrew Female College, in Cuthbert, has a beautiful 
building and a good faculty. It is now under the care 
of Rev. Homer Bush. 

There is besides these female colleges the Lucy Cobb 
Institute at Athens, which, while not claiming to be a col- 
lege proper, does the finest work. It is conducted by 
Misses Rutherford and Mrs. Lipscomb and is in high favor. 

The Gainesville College, which is a private undenomioa- 

512 The Story of Georgia [Chap. Xlll. 

tional college, conducted by Messrs. Pearce and Van Hoose, 
has elegant buildings and a very large patronage. 

The Catholics have a number of high schools for young 
ladies, one in each important city in the State, generally 
conducted by the Sisters of Charity. 

The great need for a college beyond the Blue Ridge, 
where tuition would be nominal and board low, and where 
opportunities could be afforded for those who wished to 
board themselves to do so, led to the founding of Young 
Harris College, in Towns county. It has had a very large 
patronage and is doing great good. 

The Dahlonega Agricultural and Mechanical College, 
located in the old mint at Dahlonega and fostered by the 
State, is a very popular and largely patronized school, 
which has done much service for the State. 

The needs of the wire-grass section led to the founding 
of the South Georgia College, which is located at McRae, 
and which aims to do for the young people of the low- 
country a work such as is done in the upper counties. It 
is a comparatively new institution but is doing good work. 

The State having made ample provision for the educa- 
tion of its young men in agriculture, the arts and in litera- 
ture, decided to do something as a State in the aid of its 
young women, and, as we have seen in the account of Bald- 
win, it established in Milledgeville the Industrial School 
for young ladies. It is under the care of President Chap- 
pell, and is a school of high grade with a very large num- 
ber of students. 

There are female colleges at Dalton and Thomasville. 


The Technological School, in Atlanta, supported by the 
State, is a very well-equipped institution, which aims to 
teach young men the mechanical arts and give them at the 

Education.] AND THE GEORGIA People. 513 

same time literary training. It has a new textile school 
added to its other schools of handicraft. 

In addition to other facilities a normal school, where 
the teachers of the State are taught, has been estab- 
lished by the State in the city of Athens. 

There is no exclusively agricultural college in the State, 
but a professor of agriculture holds his place in the Uni- 
versity, and there is some attention paid to this field of 

There have been established many schools for the ne- 
groes. The State has one near Savannah which is supported 
by it and which has an able faculty and is a useful school. 

Atlanta University, an extensive institution for colored 
people, supported by the Congregationalists, has been long 
established, is well equipped and has an able faculty and a 
large patronage, and has been of great service to Georgia. 

Clarke University is a very popular school, supported 
by Northern Methodists, and has a very large patronage. 
It is near Gammon Theological School, a well endowed 
Methodist college for training negro preachers. 

The Baptists have an institution in Atlanta for training 
negro preachers, and the M. E. Church, South, has one in 
Augusta for the education of teachers and preachers, and 
there are beside these quite a number of high schools in 
the State. 

Although it was not my original purpose to carry this 
history any further than 1850, I have found myself com- 
pelled, in order to give a glimpse of the present condition 
of education, to do so. There is now a well-organized 
common school system in the State. Schools are kept 
open for six months in the year, and in the cities and many 
of the towns for nine months, and all classes are now priv- 
ileged to secure a liberal education at the expense of the 



514 The Story of Georgia [Chap. xiv. 



In the first chapter of this book much that concerns the 
early history of Savannah has been already written. To 
each settler was given a town lot, a garden lot and forty- 
five acres for a farm. These gardens were just beyond Lib- 
erty street and the farms where is now Gwinnett. 

Mr. Moore, storekeeper for the trustees and a great friend 
of Mr. Oglethorpe's, came in 1735. He found Savannah a 
mile and a fourth in circumference. There was a sandy 
beach, long since covered by wharves, a mile along the 
river front, and an Indian town four miles above it. There 
were about one hundred and fifty houses. The house Mr. 
Oglethorpe occupied was such as the freeholders lived in — 
a frame of sawed timber 24x16, floored and ceiled with 
rough plank and shingled. There were a few better houses,, 
some even two and three stories high. Generally they 
were surrounded with split boards for fencing, but some ot 
the more pretentious had palisades made of turned wood 
palings. Some of the people had been thrifty and a few 
thriftless. Rum was cheap, and though forbidden, they 
managed to get it and drank too much, to their great in- 
jury. The common laborers had two shillings a day for 
their work and the carpenters from four to five shillings. 

There was a garden of ten acres, in which not only the 
ordinary vegetables were grown, but in which the effort 
was made to raise all kinds of tropical fruits, with only very 
partial success, as the frost had cut down the orange trees.. 
The efforts to make silk, after the first brilliant success ins 


making enough to give a robe to the queen, were not en- 
couraging. The Italians quarreled, broke the coppers, 
stole the eggs and ran away to South Carolina. Mr. Ogle- 
thorpe forbade any more silk to be loomed until Ggg-^i enough 
could be secured for another start. 

So far Mr. Moore gives us an insight into the temporal 
affairs of the young colony, but for a correct account of the 
educational and religious we must have recourse to the 
journals of Mr. Whitefield and Mr. Wesley. 

In a previous chapter we have spoken of Mr. Wesley's 
stay in Savannah. 

After he went back to England Mr. Whitefield came. He 
saw the necessity for an orphanage, and with him when he 
saw a thing ought to be done was to decide to do it, and 
he at once made his plans to raise the money and establish 
one. The scheme was a very wild one. Mr. Whitefield was 
himself only twenty-four years old. The colony was just 
being settled. There were few children who needed the 
home, and there was no money at the back of his plans ex- 
cept what he might be able to raise by his public appeals. 
He was compelled to go to England to be ordained a priest. 
He went and was ordained, and began at once to raise the 
money for his asylum. He secured from the trustees a 
grant of five hundred acres, and his friend Mr. James Hab- 
ersham, who had been teaching the parish school, selected 
the tract ten miles from the city where the present Be- 
thesda school is located. Mr. Whitefield continued for quite 
a year in England, preaching continuously and raising money 
to build, and in the spring of 1740 he laid the first brick of 
the new home. He had, however, already put the Orphan- 
age into operation, renting a house and taking the children 
he could find in the colony. 

The first teacher of the parish school was Charles DeLa- 
motte, one of the Holy Club at Oxford and a warm friend 
of Mr. Wesley's. He was a man of some means and taught 

516 The Story of Georgia [Chap. XIV. 

a free school. He returned to England with Mr. Wesley, 
and Mr. James Habersham came with Mr. Whitefield and 
took up his work. Just before Mr. Wesley left the city 
a new secretary of the colony came to take the place of 
Charles Wesley, This was the excellent and painstaking 
William Stephens, Esq., son of an English baronet. He 
kept a journal and published it in 1742. It was somewhat 
notable that Mr. John Wesley and Mr. Whitefield and Mr. 
Stephens each kept and published journals of their lives in 
Savannah. Mr. Stephens's three volumes, now so rare, was 
the first book of any size ever written in Georgia or pub- 
lished by a citizen of the colony. Next to Pepys's famous 
Diary there are few more entertaining books. He records 
everything at full length. He was sent out by the trustees 
to look after things generally, and Mr. Causton's account 
particularly. Savannah had grown steadily, if slowly, up 
to his coming in 1737. There had come in some new Eng- 
lish immigrants and quite a reinforcement of Scotchmen ; 
and Germans, and Mr. Stephens brought his son Thomas, 
who afterward gave him a world of trouble, and some in- | 
dentured servants who were too lazy to work when they 
were well, and were generally sick, and with these he was 
trying to get his garden lot of five acres in cultivation and 1 
open his little farm. There was a public house where the 
justices Christie, Parker and Causton used to meet the sec- 
retary and take a glass with him. Mr. Causton was build- | 
ing a handsome house in the country where there is now ! 
Causton's Bluff. j 

There was a St. Andrew's society in Savannah, a lodge of ' 
Masons, and now and then a ball was given at the ordinary, j 
attended by thirty people. Mr. Causton was no longer i 
storekeeper and had gone to England to try to settle ■ 
with the trustees, and Mr. Jones, the dissenter, was in charge j 
of the storehouse. Mr. Williams bought some goats in 
South Carolina, and the old ram so annoyed Mr. Fitz Wal- 


ter by breaking into his garden that the irate Welshman 
incontinently slew him, and then Mr. Williams went out 
with his gun to kill Mr. Fitz Walter's harmless geese. Mr. 
Abram Minis had a store, and Mr. Pat Talifer, the doctor, 
sold rum and talked sedition in the Coffee House, and 
wrote scurrilous attacks on Mr. Oglethorpe until, despairing 
of causing a change of affairs, he and some of his Scotch 
companions left the colony for Charleston — no great loss, 
the secretary thought. 

Mr. Oglethorpe went back to England and the secretary 
was made governor, but the village did not grow even 
though the trustees removed all restrictions on land hold- 
ings, but when, against the protest of the German and 
Scotch, at the instance of Mr. Whitefield and Mr. Haber- 
sham, negro slaves were allowed, planters began to move in 
from South Carolina. Then Governor Reynolds came and 
Governor Ellis and found things very dilapidated in the 
city and the colony in a very depressed condition, but mat- 
ters were improving and wealth increasing. There was rice 
on the main and on the sea islands which were now occu- 
pied, indigo was planted and things might have prospered 
in the city but for the scheme of Governor Reynolds and 
Governor Ellis to move the capitol to Hardwick. This, 
however, was set at rest by Governor Wright, who came in 
1762, and then Savannah began to build up with great 
rapidity. The traders now brought their goods to Savannah 
and sent them from thence to the nation and shipped their 
peltry from the port to England. Rice planting about 
Savannah became a large industry, the rice-fields coming 
to the very edge of the city, and there were soon thousands 
of slaves on the plantations. The upper parishes, St. 
George's and St. Paul's, were filling up with a thrifty pop- 
ulation, who drove their cattle and brought hides and deer- 
skins and furs to the Savannah market. 

The sturdy Germans near by, in Ebenezer, had built a 

518 The Story of Georgia [Chap. XIV 

Lutheran church in the city on the lot where it now stands, 
and Mr. Jonathan Bryan and Lachlan McGilveray and Ed- 
ward Telfair secured subscriptions in 1769 and built a church 
for the Presbyterians, to which Mr. Zubly was to be minis- 
ter. There was perfect harmony between the mother coun- 
try and the thrifty young city. Then the stamp act passed 
and another chapter tells the results of this act of Parlia- 
ment, but the storm soon blew over and Savannah continued 
to improve. The Georgia Gazette was established in 1763 
and made its weekly appearance. The wooden houses on 
the bay gave way to ranges of brick and stone, and hun- 
dreds of ships of small tonnage came from the West In- 
dies and the northern provinces and from across the Atlan- 
tic to unload goods and to take cargoes of rice. 

Messrs. Cowper and Telfair brought cargoes of fine, 
healthy slaves from Sierra Leone to the wharves, and sold 
them at thirty pounds each to the planters. The ladies 
dressed in rich silk, handsomely trimmed. There were 
phaetons and horses and tables shining with plate in not a 
few of the homes. Decanters of brandy and rum and Gen- 
eva were on the sideboards of the gentlemen ; Mahogany 
bedsteads and chairs were in their houses. The city had 
its quota of lawyers and doctors, and perhaps was not free 
from quacks, for Dr. Felix Pitt offered his services as a 
physician and proposed to wait on ladies and gentlemen 
and other persons, and closes his notice by saying : Si curat 
niorbiim probatum est. The country was full of new negroes 
and the workhouse was full of runaways. There was ad- 
vertised, "A negro wench who cannot tell her name. Her 
upper teeth were filed ; had on a wrapper of white cloth. 
Another with a slit in her ear and a scar on her cheek ; a 
boy dressed in blue negro cloth with osnaburg trousers ; 
and one with an iron on his leg," who were awaiting their 

There was shipped from the port live-oak timber, hides, 


hogs of all sizes, and myrtle wax, in addition to tar, pitch 
and turpentine, rice and indigo. 

Messrs. Bard & Thompson sold puncheons of rum and 
ladies' hats alike. Messrs. Pinkerd & Brown, Joe Goodwin, 
Richard Wright and Audley Maxwell were merchants. Mr. 
Lewis Johnson provost marshal. 

Mr. Haddon Smith preached in "The Church," as Christ 
Church was called, and Mr. Zubly to his wealthy Scotchmen 
in the "Presbyterian meeting-house," which had been built 
on Bryan and St. Julian streets, near the present market. 
There was an ugly club, which had regular meetings. The 
old filature was used as an assembly room, and Tondee's 
long room, about where the custom house is now, was a